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Cummins and Hyundai CE roll out electric mini excavator prototype

Cummins and Hyundai CE roll ou...
The electric mini excavator can operate for 8 hours per charge of its 35.2 kWh battery pack
The electric mini excavator can operate for 8 hours per charge of its 35.2 kWh battery pack
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The electric mini excavator can operate for 8 hours per charge of its 35.2 kWh battery pack
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The electric mini excavator can operate for 8 hours per charge of its 35.2 kWh battery pack

Last month, Volvo trundled an all-electric excavator called the EX1 into a quarry to begin a 10 week Electric Site trial with haulers, a crusher and a wheel loader. Now Cummins and Hyundai Construction Equipment have teamed up to develop an electric mini excavator.

"As electric vehicles continue to expand their share in the automotive market, we are simultaneously seeing the electrification of commercial power systems being pursued by many as both an environmentally friendly and economically sustainable solution for construction equipment," said Hyundai's D S Kim.

The Hyundai CE-built excavator has eight Cummins BM4.4E Li-ion battery modules connected in series and installed in the base of the vehicle. The total battery capacity of 35.2 kWh should provide enough juice per 3 hour charge for a full 8 hour shift.

Though little can be done to silence the bucket scraping and scooping up dirt, the partnership's mini excavator won't have a diesel engine rumbling away, keeping vehicle noise low and completely doing away with gaseous emissions. This should make it a good fit for urban construction projects.

The electric mini excavator is still in prototyping at the moment and will be used to optimize performance and prove the concept.

Source: Cummins

7 comments
Derek Howe
Nice, I love seeing everything go electric!
VincentWolf
Love it. More more more!!
SimonClarke
This is the second electric mini digger that I have seen. Another advantage of them not having an engine is that they can work inside buildings without the noise, fumes and poisonous gasses. Another vehicle for 'Fully Charged'
Brian M
Be nice if it turns out to be more reliable than its internal combustion engine cousins - Work always seems to come to a halt due to a digger fault or maybe its just an excuse for a tea break!
McDesign
Does this still have hydraulic cylinders as well? Seems like linear and rotary actuators would be far more efficient than electro-hydraulic?
ljaques
Pretty cool. I like it. I'll bet they're 30dB quieter than any other excavator, too. That's the worst part about construction machinery: the bloody NOISE!
Nik
It's surprising that its taken so long, after all, electric fork lift trucks have been used for around one hundred years. There is very little difference in principle, between the two. Both use hydraulics and have a need for movement. One has wheels, and the other tracks, usually, but not necessarily. JCB's and their like can be supplied with either. The battery makes a good counterbalance, and would save the need for a massive lump of iron on the back. Electric motors need far less maintenance, compared to diesel, and no smelly stocks of fuel sitting around. No cooling systems to top up, no oil changes required, no fan belts to wear out. The list of advantages goes on. As to McDesign,s query, I dont think electric actuators would have the power, and precise control, that hydraulics can deliver, and they would be very vulnerable to ingress of dirt, and damage, in the normal digger environments. I'd be happy to swop my diesel digger for an electric version, BUT, the battery life would have to be equal to a diesel engine. Replacing batteries is a very expensive matter.