Manufacturers have been announcing new electric or hybrid-electric equipment in recent years, with the majority being small equipment. Information from manufacturers suggests that during an 8-hour shift, most machines are only used for 3 to 4 hours, resulting in almost one-third of idle time. The battery-powered machines only use energy when they are actively working, unlike their diesel counterparts.
The following are some examples of electric or hybrid-electric equipment from different manufacturers:
Caterpillar (CAT) has displayed four brand-new prototype battery-powered machines, including the 301.9 electric mini excavators, the 950 GC medium electric cat wheel loader, and the 320 medium electric excavators. The 320 Electric excavators are powered by a Cat 600-volt, 256 kWh battery, which has a runtime of up to eight hours on a single charge. The 301.9 Electric mini excavators are powered by a Cat 48-volt, 32 kWh battery, which gives them a maximum operating time of eight hours or up to four to five hours of continuous trenching. The 906 electric compact wheel loader is powered by a Cat 300-volt, 64 kWh battery, which allows the operator to work for up to six hours on a single charge. Cat has also developed its first battery-powered mining vehicle, a prototype 793 rigid-frame dump truck, which has regenerative braking capabilities.
JCB has released several new products within its E-Tech line of electrical construction and industrial machines. The machines are identical to their diesel equivalents, except for the conversion from diesel to electricity. JCB’s E-Tech machines are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can provide enough energy for a whole normal day on a single charge. The Universal Fast Charger from JCB is designed to supply electricity for recharging, and the charger can charge machines in 2.5 hours.
John Deere has introduced its experimental 310 X-Tier electric digger as its first electric product, which uses Kreisel Electric battery solutions under the E-Power moniker. The company had released hybrid diesel electric wheel loaders before introducing the 310 X-Tier backhoes. John Deere is creating electrification charging infrastructure solutions, including a variety of alternatives for overnight and fast charging, as part of its investment in electrification. All electric or hybrid machines will carry the X-Tier designation, which represents the company’s most cutting-edge models, according to the company’s naming philosophy, which debuted in 2021.