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The pros and cons of electric equipment.

Electric or Diesel?

CMI Helps you Explore the Pros and Cons in Heavy Construction Equipment

Electric Vehicles were all the rage at this March’s ConExpo! More than 2,000 exhibitors revealed new advances in heavy equipment and development of battery-power everything!

The jobsite is a fascinating study of energy efficiency. Research from manufacturers is revealing that most heavy equipment is used only 3-4 hours a day when on a jobsite. Traditional diesel engines consume energy even in those idle hours. On the other hand, electric vehicles only use battery power when they are running.  The construction site is an obvious place to explore the use of electric machines! Here’s a quick look at some of the pros and cons in the transition to electric heavy equipment:

PROs for EVs:

Less Noise and Vibration. No more engine and far fewer mechanical components means a much quieter work environment, reducing not only air but noise pollution. This is a significant asset, especially when accomplishing the impossible…using enormous equipment in peaceful neighborhoods.

Cheaper to operate. Electricity is cheaper than gas…period. Add this to decreased energy used and higher efficiency, and there is no question operation is more efficient with electric than diesel. Fewer mechanical components simplify the job and severely decreases repair costs as well.

More accurate precision. Newly developed electric equipment offers more immediate power and torque than traditional engines, resulting in more accurate precision and faster construction.

CONs for EVs: 

Expense. Although electric equipment typically shows a 50% increase in productivity and cost is typically recouped within one to five years, electric equipment is more expensive than diesel. Your business’s budget will take a hard it with the initial investment, but the long-term gains in bottom line could be tremendous.

Infrastructure. Electricity brings the same challenge to heavy equipment production as it does to vehicles in general. Logistics for charging stations mean infrastructure must be reconfigured. In order to have optimal charging, these machines need the same charging systems as electric cars (240-volt, Level 2 A/C setup).

Speed of development. Simply due to the size of the engines, the heavy equipment industry has been slower to produce electric options than the automotive industry. Battery-powered options are available now, but many more are in the process of production and are projected to be released by 2026.

Check out the Case 580 fully electric backhoe loader. This mighty machine can save fleets an estimated 90% in vehicle maintenance and service costs! As manufacturers continue to develop new production strategies, EV is not the wave of the future…it is the wave of today!

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