Five electric offerings on show at Bauma

By Catrin Jones08 November 2022

Bauma 2022 presented itself as an excellent place to showcase new and emerging engine technologies. From hydrogen to alternative fuels, the R&D departments of global companies have been working tirelessly to expand and develop ways to fuel our machines.

Electric was an up-and-coming trend back at the show in 2019 and it certainly made its mark this year with OEM’s showcasing bigger, better, and more powerful machines. Here we look at just some of the electric offerings that were on show to visitors this year.

Cat showcases prototype machines

German Caterpillar dealer Zeppelin unveiled four new Cat electric prototype machines at Bauma, including a fully electric 20 tonne excavator.

Cat’s 20-tonne 320 electric excavator prototype

The machines are powered by Cat’s own 48v, 300v and 600v lithium-ion batteries and the company says this demonstrates that it is now bringing its long experience with electric mining machines into play within the construction segment.

The largest of the four machines is the 320 excavator – a 20t machine that, along with Volvo’s 22t EC230 excavator, looks set to end the conversation about battery-power only being suitable for compact construction equipment.

Product specialist Alan Davies said of the new excavator, “The great thing about this is that it drives and feels like a diesel engine, so a diesel operator could jump straight on this machine and, other than the [low] noise and zero tailpipe emissions, the experience would be the same.

“It can dig with the same attachments, the stability on grade will be the same – that move over [to electric power] is about not giving the operator lots of different challenges.”

Davies added, “We can get up to 8 hours of operation in normal work cycles with this machine.

“Now, we need to go out now and put this onto jobsites, real-life applications, then start to evaluate those numbers, put different attachments on it and understand what impact that has.

“All of the machines have on board charging capability, and that satisfies the need for overnight or slower rate charging.”

The 320 comes with a 22kW onboard charger, which will charge the battery in between 10 and 15 hours, potentially overnight.

Davies said, “We also have a DC charge capability as well, so, if you’re able to provide 200kW of DC charge, then you’re looking at around one to one-and-a-half hours to get from 20% to 80%, which is the normal range for DC charging.”

Electric power for urban worksites

France-based Mecalac launched a new range of zero-emission medium-sized electric machines for urban worksites at global trade show Bauma.

According to the company, the launch of the e-series - which consists of the 11 tonne e12 excavator, the 1,000-litre es1000 swing loader and the six tonne ed6 dumper, represents the first time its electric machines have been designed for use on urban sites.

Designed to carry out earthmoving operations such as digging, loading, and transporting that mini electric machines are unable to do, Mecalac says as much as 64 tonnes of CO2 could be saved on a jobsite each year by using the machines, while also reducing noise pollution.

The e12, an electric version of the 12MTX excavator, can be charged in eight hours, according to Mecalac, and can last the same amount of time when in operation.

Accompanying the three machines on the stand at Bauma, was a powerpack with 300kWh storage capacity, which aims to remove the need for diesel-powered generators on site and provide a source of battery charging anywhere.

Zero-emission excavators from Hitachi

Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe (HCME) celebrated its 50th birthday at Bauma this year with an array of 20 construction machines on display - including four new zero-emission excavators.

The electric models are the ZX23U-6EB, ZX55U-6EB, ZX85US-6EB and ZX135-7EB and can be powered by lithium ion batteries or cable connection.

The ZX55U was developed by Hitachi in Japan, but the three others are joint ventures with KTEG in Germany, developed specifically with the European market in mind, although longer term also worldwide. The machines will be available in mid 2023.

The ZX85US-7 and the ZX85USB-7 are Hitachi’s latest compact model to make their European debut. Part the company’s 7-Series equipment range, the new machines offer quieter operation and are also said to require less maintenance than diesel-powered alternatives.

“We’re proud to participate at Bauma 2022 during our 50th year in Europe,” said HCME President Takaharu Ikeda.

“This is one of the many highlights of our anniversary activities, and we are enjoying celebrating our successes with our customers, dealers, and partners.

For special applications the company also presented its new ZX390TC-7 and ZX400MC-7 machines, which were developed with KTEG and specially designed for heavy-duty applications and demolition job sites.

Carbon neutral by 2050

Komatsu showed six electric machines at Bauma – from a 1 tonne micro excavator up to a 20 tonne class machine - as it reaffirmed its goal to be a carbon neutral business by 2050.

Komatsu electric excavator PC210E Komatsu’s PC210E electric excavator is undergoing testing before mass production. (Photo: Komatsu)

The company, which showed 22 new machines in Munich, said its electric PC210E 20 tonne excavator will be launched in Japan and Europe next year. It uses a 123 kW lithium ion battery pack developed by Proterra and will operate for up to 8 hours on a single charge.

Komatsu’s PC210E electric excavator is undergoing testing before mass production. (Photo: Komatsu)

At the other end of the spectrum, the PC01E-1 is the company’s first battery operated micro excavator. This machine has been developed as a rental machine in Japan, where it was introduced earlier this year. The PC01E-1 uses a Honda Mobile Power Pack e.

The electric PC30 excavator, meanwhile, is also already in operation in Japan and will be available in Europe within six months.

Göksel Güner, Komatsu Europe’s COO, said in Munich that machines up to 20 tonnes would be capable of electrification, with larger models requiring other technologies such as hydrogen combustion and fuel cells. He said the company could not provide a timescale for the commercial launch of machines using these technologies.

Güner added that the 20 tonne ceiling for battery powered machines was not fixed; “who knows how battery technology will develop.” Currently, battery packs are too heavy for larger machines.

Bobcat reveals new mini-excavator

The Bobcat E19e was featured at this year’s show and the company says that it has the same profile, external dimensions, and comparable performance as the popular diesel-powered E19 mini-excavator, more than 10,000 of which have been sold worldwide.

Bobcat says that the E19e boasts the same stability, lift capacity, and breakout forces as its conventional counterpart, while its constant torque curve (a feature of electric motors) ensures dependable and powerful operations.

Miroslav Konas, Mini-Excavator Product Manager at Doosan Bobcat EMEA, said, “The E19e electric mini-excavator combines a safe, nearly silent, zero-emission design with the E19’s market-leading features and performance, as well as its suitability for working in confined spaces.

“As a result, it is the ideal machine for applications such as indoor and outdoor demolition, landscaping and infrastructure activities, and other tasks that necessitate night-time work or low noise levels. The E19e represents an extremely attractive solution for rental companies and contractors alike.”

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