Skip to content

Search from site

Type your search terms and select from the suggestions or click the search button to move to the search page.

    Half of the small green loaders turn electric within five years – Avant manufactures its own batteries next to the Ylöjärvi factory

    20240306 Avant still 00018
    Avant Tecno and Avant Power CEO Jani Käkelä shows the individual batteries that make up the battery pack. Photographer: Petri Kangas.

    Cost-effectiveness and operating time have long been the strengths of diesel loaders compared to electric ones. With a new type of battery technology, Avant Tecno from Ylöjärvi responds to the dominance of fossil fuels. In five years, the company estimates that half of Avant's sold equipment will be electric, as announced at the launch event of the new E-series device at the beginning of March. At the same time, Avant showcased their new self-made loader batteries.

    The next frontier for Avant Tecno, a manufacturer of compact loaders based in Ylöjärvi, is their self-designed and manufactured batteries.

    – Many chuckled at the idea, questioning if we were serious. But after the first prototype, it became apparent that we could make it work, recalls Avant's CEO Jani Käkelä about the early stages of battery development at the launch event on Wednesday, March 6.

    Behind many inventions lies problem-solving, as is the case with Avant's batteries. According to the company, the batteries available on the market did not fully meet the needs of compact loaders, particularly in terms of operating time.

    Compact loaders are often used in tight spaces such as demolition sites, shopping centers, or barns. When working indoors, it's best to operate with zero emissions. Zero emissions are becoming a trend in work machines and other vehicles. In many applications, silence is also crucial.

    – Our own battery production gives us an edge in the electric loader market. According to the fastest scenario, up to half of the loaders we sell could be electric in just five years. However, diesel loaders will still be needed for a long time, says Käkelä, who is also the CEO of Avant Power, the company's newly established battery manufacturing subsidiary.

    Avant Tecno plans to significantly increase the production of electric compact loaders in the coming years. Photographer: Petri Kangas.

    The double battery duration was needed

    Avant had to figure out how to make the battery life and price competitive with those of loaders running on fossil fuels. The E-series models offer two available battery capacities in production: 13 kWh and 27 kWh. The company promises three to six hours of operating time for medium-duty work with these. Santtu Tyynelä, Avant Power's design director, estimates that next year, the production line located on the factory premises will produce 700–800 batteries. Currently, batteries come from one production line, but another is already on order.

    – A self-designed and implemented production line enables agility and scalability. At the same time, all expertise related to batteries and loaders is under one roof, Tyynelä says in Avant's press release.

    Each battery unit contains about one and a half thousand individual battery cells slightly larger than finger batteries. According to the CEO, the battery unit, in particular, is one of the most expensive individual parts of the new machine.


    Differences in the equipment

    Eemeli Linna, the editor-in-chief of Koneviesti magazine, finds it very welcome that Avant has dared to make their own batteries.

    – Increasing competition lowers prices, and all expertise related to the battery industry is a positive thing. A general trend across industries is that everything that can be electrified will be, Linna tells Business Tampere.

    Linna mentions that in a recent test conducted by the magazine on compact loaders, it was noticed that electric machines are appealing due to their minimal maintenance requirements, silence, and emission-free operation. In last summer's test, four out of ten loaders were electric. Linna hasn't driven an electric Avant himself but has familiarized himself with the differences between electric and diesel machines at a general level.

    – If it's available at a reasonable price, the threshold will certainly be crossed, and we will reach a point where an electric machine is justifiable. In my experience, the driving feel isn't as precise, and there's room for improvement in powertrain control, Linna analyzes.

    If it's available at a reasonable price, the threshold will be crossed.

    Pirkanmaa at the forefront

    Heini Wallander, the customer relationship manager at Business Tampere, is well-versed in industrial research and development. According to her, Avant Tecno is a highly important company for the region.

    – They directly employ nearly 400 people and utilize local expertise through subcontractors and partners. We have nine global market leaders in machine construction in the region, which brings critical mass. The Tampere region is an absolute powerhouse in Finland and one of the world's leading hubs for developing mobile work machines, Wallander states.


    Watch the videos!


    For more information, you can contact Business Tampere.

    Back to top