Heavy-duty construction equipment: dinosaurs of black energy?
Paper in proceeding, 2021

Construction equipment emissions in civil engineering are a major sustainability issue. However, the industry continues investing in diesel (and/or biodiesel) machines - which, even if compliant with EU regulations, are far from “clean”. Cleaner technologies in construction equipment, like electrical engines, are considered more expensive investments; moreover, they are dependent on the available power supply while operating in confined areas. So, transitioning these machines sustainably involves changing technologies, business models, and public regulation. In Scandinavia, heavy-duty engines (over 25 tons) have only recently become (limitedly) available. Therefore, the current paper analyzes enablers and barriers for a sustainable transition of civil engineering construction equipment to onsite electrical machines in Scandinavia. The sustainable transition theory, combined with sustainable business models, serves as the framework of understanding. Empirically, a desk study of governance and regulation is combined with material from four fossil-free test building sites in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The results highlight the importance of a public-private business model, where public client-driven transition is subsidy-supported (e.g., making electrical equipment available through concession, and encouraging small innovative machine manufacturers to develop electrical equipment), while waiting for international construction equipment players to become transition-ready. Recommendations for the transition thus include strengthening public-private collaboration.



sustainable transition

electrical engines


Christian Koch

Halmstad University

Dimosthenis Kifokeris

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

Proceedings of the 37th Annual ARCOM Conference


37th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM 2021)
Online, ,

Electric Worksite II

FFI - Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation, 2021-07-01 -- 2023-09-30.

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Construction Management

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

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