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