A point I often make in my public EV presentations is that the EV transition is not just about cars. While cars are at the forefront of the move, fossil fuels are used in many other mobility contexts – so these, too, must also move to electric propulsion.
Among these other forms of electric vehicles is the often overlooked area of work equipment (examples include excavators, graders, dump trucks, front-end loaders and the like).
While work has been progressing in the background on electrifying these, they have yet hit the mainstream of public consciousness.
This is likely to be about to change, though, with a reveal at the recent Las Vegas CES (Consumer Electronics Show).
Bobcat, the maker of many types of excavation equipment, has shown an EV version of what is perhaps the world’s most iconic piece of excavation equipment – the Bobcat compact loader. By the way, given how ubiquitous this piece of equipment is, it is often simply referred to as THE Bobcat by the public and users alike.
The all-electric version of the Bobcat – dubbed the T7X – boasts many advantages over its diesel rivals. First-up, instantaneous torque is up to three times greater than its fossil-fuelled predecessors.
It also has only half the number of components – meaning fewer parts to wear out or break down. Between the electric motor and eliminating the hydraulic system by using electric actuators, the use of hydraulic oils and coolants is reduced to around 1 litre of coolant instead of nearly 230L of hydraulic oil, radiator coolant and engine oil.
This will significantly reduce ‘down-time’ due to the bugbear of all excavation equipment: repairs resulting from damaged hydraulic oil lines and seals. (This type of damage is considered a ‘normal’ source of failures due to the rough environments this form of equipment is used in).
Gone, too, are the potential hydraulic oil, diesel and engine oil spills that can contaminate soils and pollute waterways, as well as cause expensive damage to concrete and bitumen surfaces.
Down-time due to the need for regular engine and system services is also significantly reduced – a boon for operators wanting to maximise time spent on the job.
It is also much quieter than its diesel-powered equivalents, with no tailpipe emissions whatever – making for a much more pleasant (and healthier) work experience for both the operator and those around it.
Underpinning this system is a 62kWh battery that, according to the manufacturer, allows for up to four hours of continuous use – which they suggest is equivalent to a full day of the more normal intermittent use they are put to.
However, as per normal with EV announcements – Bobcat has yet to reveal pricing details or when it will be released for sale.
Extracted in full from: Electric vehicles enter a “hole” new field: excavation equipment (thedriven.io)