• 9/1/2021
  • By Doosan Infracore North America LLC
A Doosan DX17Z-5 machine.

In recent years, sustainability has become a high priority across many industries and construction is no exception.

For equipment manufacturers, this trend has resulted in companies crafting machines and attachment options with more renewable energy sources.
Industry advancements over the past few years are signaling that the future of construction equipment, including excavators and wheel loaders, may indeed be electric.


What’s Being Done Now

Over the last decade, companies have included plans for electric or hybrid machines and materials in their mid-and long-range forecasts.

More recently, we have been able to see some of these new electric machines in action.

Several equipment manufacturers displayed prototypes or first-generation electric-powered machines during CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020.

Doosan was one of those manufacturers, showing a prototype of an electric DX17Z-5 mini excavator, though this machine is not currently available in North America.

When considering a machine’s components, hybrid or electric technology is a better fit for smaller equipment. The larger the machine, the larger the components where electrical storage capacity can be a barrier.

This early in the process, it’s logical for manufacturers to begin making the electric transition with smaller equipment first.

 

Lowering Emission Use

Concern for the safety of contractors is one important reason that companies have begun to develop more zero-emission equipment.

Operating a machine in a confined, enclosed space can add emissions to the air and be detrimental to the operator’s health or safety. Instead of putting themselves at potential risk, many operators choose to use hand labor over machinery, which affects their efficiency.

Running an electric machine with zero emissions can help contractors maintain their typical work practices with less worry about their health or safety.

 

What’s Ahead for Electric Construction Equipment

The goal of manufacturers is to build productive yet efficient electric machines. To make this happen, the electric version of a machine needs to be as similar to its diesel counterparts as possible.

For example, an electric-powered mini excavator needs to be virtually equal to its diesel-powered model companion in such performance perspectives as lift capacity, breakout force and swing torque.

In the next five to 10 years, it will be possible for customers to choose between a diesel and an electric-powered mini or compact excavator. For some companies working ahead, that is already a reality.

No matter where our industry goes, innovation is rapid. To keep up with the trends, reach out to your equipment dealer and ask how their products are evolving. You might be surprised to hear just how much change is on the horizon.

In the next five to 10 years, it will be possible for customers to choose between a diesel and an electric-powered mini or compact excavator. For some companies working ahead, that is already a reality.
Doosan Infracore North America LLC