New electric mini excavator enables pollutant-free work with reduced noise in places with stringent requirements for exhaust and noise pollution. Standardised and certificate-compliant ecovolta battery packs save time for construction vehicle conversion company Avesco and reduces costs for users.
ecovolta’s standardised lithium-ion traction batteries have found a new application in mini excavators with Caterpillar machinery. The Swiss battery system manufacturer was commissioned by Avesco AG to take the foundation of a Cat 301.7 model and equip it with an electric drive, supplying its battery system for the series. This mini excavator will enable carbon-neutral and low-noise work in city centres and other locations with restrictive pollutant and noise emission thresholds and is set to be presented to the public at the Swissbau exhibition in Basel from 14 to 18 January 2020. ecovolta drive batteries are already in use in lorries, vans, forklifts and boats.
For users, the electric mini excavator means more freedom in their construction work. They also benefit from lower operating costs, which are reduced by two-thirds compared to those associated with equipment running on combustion engines according to Avesco. One reason for this is that electricity is cheaper per operating hour than diesel. Plus, the electric excavator is extremely low-maintenance. Maintenance-intensive components such as v-belts and motor oil systems become redundant and wear to the electric drive is minimal.
Up to 4 hours of stand-alone use and recharging while in operation possible
The base model for the new construction machine is a mini excavator from the latest Caterpillar model series, the Cat® 301.7. The dimensions, furnishings and other specifications correspond with those of the original diesel-driven vehicle. ecovolta’s 96-volt evoTractionBattery has been chosen as the energy-storing component. With its capacity, the vehicle can be operated autonomously for up to 3 or 4 hours, depending on its function.
If the stored energy starts to run low at the job site, the batteries can be plugged in via a 400- or 230-volt line and charged while still in operation, allowing the machine operator to continue their work.
Mini excavator contributes to emission-free construction site
“The electric mini excavator is particularly suited to work in cities with high levels of exhaust and noise pollution, but it is just as good for construction work in residential areas and near hospitals as well as night-time work,” says Pirmin Reichmuth, Managing Director of ecovolta.
Converting excavators is a step in towards establishing emission-free construction sites, an important industry goal. Right now, mini excavators are the main focus of this electrification transition. Because of their simple design and their relatively low energy requirements, switching out their diesel motors for an electric drive is notably easier than in the case of larger vehicles. What’s more, manufacturers are using this as an opportunity to test out the reception of electric construction equipment in general. The standardised and certificate-compliant overall solution ecovolta’s will ease and accelerate the conversion of construction equipment to electric drives. The batteries do not need to be developed separately and conformity with certifications is already ensured. This saves time and cuts costs in the development phase and allows the manufacturer to introduce its electric excavator to the market more quickly and cost-effectively.
The mini excavator will be available to order from spring 2020. After their use in construction equipment, the battery packs can be recycled and used in storage systems for renewably sourced energy.
The Swiss ecovolta produces customised high-capacity battery systems and e-mobility solutions. The company’s patented design enables the fully automated series production of high-current capable batteries which do not need active cooling. Battery and drive solutions are developed and tested in the in-house research and development area. ecovolta is a division of the technology company ecocoach AG and has its headquarters in Brunnen/Schwyz, where the production plant ecovolta Swissfactory is located.