In line with its goal to pursue technological progress in sectors relevant to the group, the Liebherr Group invested €559-million in research and development in 2021. The bulk of this was used in the development of new products.
Numerous cooperative ventures with universities, or higher education institutions and research institutes were initiated or continued. Alternative drive technologies continue to be a focal point of the research projects at Liebherr.
The Liebherr Group takes a technology neutral approach. In 2021, it worked, for example, on hydrogen-powered combustion engines and their injection technologies, as well as electric drives.
For instance, Liebherr expanded its portfolio of construction machines with electric offerings such as the two all-electric truck mixers on five-axle chassis frames, two electric crawler excavators R 976-E and R 980 SME-E and the battery-powered crawler cranes LR 1160.1 unplugged and LR 1130.1 unplugged, both with zero emissions. The start of the development phase of the first all-electric offshore crane marked the launch of the electrification of the product portfolio in this area.
Furthermore, Liebherr prepared various product lines for the use of hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) as a fuel. The Ehingen and Kirchdorf an der Iller sites (both in Germany) are now already fuelling all machines with the climate-neutral fuel ex works as standard.
It is also worth highlighting the development of two assist systems for mining trucks, which offer automatic steering assistance, reduce the strain on the driver and lower fuel consumption.