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15 Nov 2022

Together in electric dreams

Together in electric dreams

It was not so long ago it seemed petrol and diesel-powered industrial machinery would always have the upper hand in the construction sector. Battery-powered machinery was naively regarded as a non-starter because it couldn’t match the power and reliability of its fossil-fuelled counterparts.

The electrification of construction machinery is making quick progress. Last year saw a whole range of new products reaching the market.  For example, since February 2020, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has been accepting orders for its ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric wheel loader.

It isn’t just compact equipment – mini excavators and small wheel loaders – that are being electrified -  there is a wide range of equipment types and sizes going down the electric route which was evident at the recent Bauma exhibition in Munich.

What was also interesting is that at the event there were several examples of battery packs being used for mobile onsite charging. This seems to be gaining traction as the way to charge compact equipment on remote sites.

A number of exhibitors were showcasing hybrid engine solutions and hydrogen,  both fuel cell and, H2ICE featured prominently at the show. At Bauma - for batteries the clear message was 'safety'- and battery manufacturers were keen to stress the safety and reliability of their products, particularly for use in harsh environments. As we head toward Plantworx 2023 (13th - 15th June 2023 East of England Arena, Peterborough) "On the path to zero emissions" will be a key theme of the show.  Exhibitors, hot on the heels of Conexpo in Vegas, will be bringing their electric and alternative fuel offerings.
Visitors can expect to meet the Bobcat T7X Compact Track Loader, which Bobcat say is 'your window into the future of the compact equipment industry.' Since inventing the world’s first skid-steer loader more than 60 years ago, Bobcat Company has continued to develop leading innovations that move the equipment industry forward and redefine what is possible. With the introduction of the zero-emissions Bobcat T7X, the manufacturer is shaking up the industry again. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4=""][/video] The T7X is completely battery-powered and equipped to outperform its diesel-powered counterparts. The heart of the T7X is its powerful, 62-kilowatt lithium-ion battery. Each charge can support common daily work operations for up to four hours of continuous operation time and a full day of operation during intermittent use. After a recharge, the T7X is ready to do the tough work again. Unlike other compact loaders, the T7X doesn’t rely on a hydraulic system to transfer power to the machine’s work group. Instead, it features an electrical drive system consisting of electric motors and ball screw actuators. Sany is making its Plantworx debut in 2023.  Sany is one of the latest OEMs to join the battery-electric drive revolution. New and quiet – the electrically driven SY19E mini excavator Zero pollutant emissions and significantly lower noise levels – the SY19E mini excavator in the 1.8 t class newly introduced by SANY for the inspired forward-looking on sustainability. Equipped with an electric motor that delivers a peak output of 15 kW, along with the efficient load-sensing hydraulic system, it ensures a fast workflow and high flexibility output. The new mini-excavator is equipped with an innovative accumulator pack that lasts for an entire working day on one battery charge. The LFP battery pack with 22 kWh is designed without cobalt, making it particularly environmentally friendly and safe to operate. It impresses with its high-power density and long service life, plus permanent charging to 100% does not affect its longevity. Other highlights are the short charging times and flexibility: charging is possible at either a fast-charging station via DC (direct current) in 1.5 hours, at a public AC charging station in 2.5 hours, or overnight at a 220-volt socket. The saving potential of the electric excavator is very high. Compared to machines with combustion engines, electric operation reduces power costs by around 30%. The savings are even more significant in maintenance costs, which are around 80% lower. The mini excavator is user-friendly thanks to an enormous reduction in noise, which is just 66 dB(A), and the newly developed clear touchscreen monitor, which is easy and safe to operate. Last but not least, the standard proportional auxiliary control circuit offers more functional possibilities in various applications. Over the coming weeks, the Plantworx team will be focussing on electric and alternative fuel machinery - watch this space.   Sales for stand space at the 2023 Plantworx Event are going great guns – there’s still time to book your space – please contact Angela Spink, Plantworx Sales Manager for further details.     
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