Colas digs deep to go electric

Colas has teamed up with hire company GAP Group Ltd and taken delivery of a purpose-built electrical excavator for use on its £38m major improvements scheme on the A46 Stoneleigh Junction.

The new 19C-1E is the industry’s first fully-electric mini-excavator and has an 'enhanced fast charger which allows it to work all day on a single charge,' Colas said, adding that the project team have been 'impressed by the performance'.


Colas CEO Carl Fergusson said: 'Developing environmentally friendly solutions has the highest priority at Colas. The project team at the A46 have welcomed the opportunity to have this new electric mini excavator on behalf of the rest of Colas Ltd and have used it for a number of site activities to further extend our understanding of the best use for this important zero emissions solution.'

In addition to zero carbon emissions, the excavator reduces noise levels by 7db. Colas is trialling this excavator for multiple uses such as minor road works in the regional business and for major schemes.

Mark Ryder, strategic director for communities at Warwickshire County Council, said: 'Warwickshire is fully committed to addressing the climate change emergency, reducing its carbon footprint and overall impact on climate change. We welcome the fact that our construction partner, Colas, will be trialling the industry’s first fully-electric mini-excavator on the A46 Stoneleigh Junction Improvement Scheme.

'This innovative excavator is not only good for the environment, due to its zero-carbon emissions, it is also noticeably quieter than alternative non-electric excavators on the market leading to a reduction in noise pollution on the project. This is one of a number of environmentally conscious initiatives that Colas will be implementing as part of the Stoneleigh junction scheme, which we wholeheartedly commend them for.'

Colas added that it has plans for more green innovations on its sites over the next couple of months including installation of green charging points at the A46 project site and use of more electric plant and equipment.

The Colas Group has held its first 'global environmental day', which was focused on reducing carbon emissions and is part of the global strategy launched in November 2020.

In the UK, Colas has been working on reducing environmental impact and, following an audit, has recently been recommended for the ISO 50001 Energy Management System for a further three years.

The audit reviewed manufacturing sites where Colas has been carrying out a number of energy efficiency projects including the introduction of LPG to replace heavy fuels at Carnsew quarry.

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