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Making A Case For Increased Adoption Of Electric Construction Equipment

Electric construction equipment is starting to see a revolution of sorts in terms of practical use in the field.  In almost every industry, technology has advanced in order to meet the demands of our rapidly advancing and expanding society. With more awareness on the environmental impact of fossil fuels and global warming and the advancement of cleaner energy sources, the construction industry should clean its act up as well

The EPA Is Getting More Strict On Emissions

In our environmentally-conscious world, the need to clean up the emissions from diesel engines has become a top priority for the Environmental Protection Agency in recent years. As a result, they have been enacting stricter standards for emissions in nonroad diesel engines such as construction equipment In order to meet the standards of the EPA, construction equipment manufacturers spent time and money investing in research and development for electric, battery-powered machines that still provide the same performance as their previous models. In what looks like the not-so-distant future, the EPA could potentially require zero-emissions on construction equipment, which would in turn completely shift all manufacturer focus on electric equipment

The Benefits

  • Globally, the construction industry is responsible for about 11% of energy-related carbon emissions. Shifting to electric construction equipment can drastically reduce that carbon footprint
  • While the costs of research and development for electric construction equipment have undoubtedly been high, the benefit of less costs when using the equipment in the field is huge
  • Ventilation and air conditioning make up a big part of a contractor’s budget during large jobs such as mining. By reducing the emissions to zero and reducing the heat produced, ventilation and air conditioning costs can decrease drastically
  • With the loud diesel engines gone and just a smooth electric battery doing the job, noise levels are decreased significantly.
  • Repair times will be significantly shorter as electric motors are much simpler to service with less moving parts.

Electric Powerhouses

In addition to Sherpa electric mini skid steers and PowerPac battery-powered wheelbarrows, there is some impressive electric construction equipment in use today:

  • Volvo CE EX2
    • All-electric compact excavator 
    • 10 times quieter and 10 times more efficient than its diesel counterpart
    • Uses two lithium-ion batteries that deliver 38kWh
    • Operates for eight hours
  • JCB 19C-1 E-Tec
    • 2-ton excavator 
    • Works all day on a six-hour charge 
    • Three lithium-ion batteries to deliver 15kWh
    • Same speed and power as diesel counterpart, but has greater torque that can be used instantly
  • Caterpillar Z-Line
    • Converted a 28-ton CAT 323F excavator from diesel to electric
    • Diesel engine was replaced with a 122kW electric motor and 300kWh lithium-ion battery pack
    • Work for five to seven hours when charged; charging takes one to two hours
    • Invested in Fisker, a company that makes electric cars and is developing battery tech. They are using the Caterpillar investment to research and develop solid-state batteries for electric construction equipment

With all these companies investing in the development of electric construction equipment, it is no longer a novelty.

For more information on battery-powered or electric construction equipment, contact one of our experienced representatives today at 954-978-3440.