Compact Electric Excavator Becomes Reality: World’s First

AUG 8 2018 BY MARK KANE 16

Heavy duty construction equipment is another application that will be electrified.

One of the first examples is the Mecalac e12 – the world’s first compact electric wheeled excavator.

This new vehicle is based on the conventional Mecalac 12MTX, but equipped with two electric motors for all-wheel drive and a 146 kWh LiFePO4 battery pack for up to 8 hours of work. Recharge takes 7 hours.

The Mecalac e12 is the fruit of collaboration between French manufacturer Mecalac and Dana, which supplies electric powertrains. It earned the Energy Transition Award earlier this year as part of the 2018 Intermat Innovation Awards.

Mecalac e12 – electric wheeled excavator

“With the proven Mecalac 12MTX as a base frame, this version is the world’s first compact wheeled excavator powered entirely by electricity.  Featuring Spicer® 112 axles and a Spicer 367 shift-on-fly transmission, the Mecalac e12 wheeled excavator delivers the range, performance, and compact size required to support modern urban construction sites.”

“With an eight-hour working range, the engine compartment in the Mecalac e12 houses LiFePO4 battery technology – lithium iron phosphate for service life that is three times longer than classic batteries.  The batteries can be charged in approximately seven hours.

Dana has a long history of developing drivetrain systems for hybrid and electric vehicle architectures. The company also offers patented battery and electronic cooling technologies, along with fuel-cell technology.  In addition, Dana engineers had extensive experience with this particular application because the diesel-powered version of this vehicle also features Spicer drivetrain components.”

Mecalac e12 – electric wheeled excavator

Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, technologies manager at Mecalac said:

“As the European construction market embraces the trend toward zero-emission standards for small to mid-sized vehicles, our customers are demanding great strides in efficiency while also requiring reliable performance. Dana was able to adapt the 12MTX drivetrain to add electric drive capabilities within our existing vehicle architecture.  With their technical expertise and open collaboration, we developed an optimal solution and accelerated the delivery of this vehicle to market.”

Aziz Aghili, president of Dana Off-Highway Drive and Motion Technologies said:

“As a Tier-One supplier, we understand that the success of electrification in the off-highway industry is driven by performance.  These technologies must support a smooth transition to fully integrated electric-drive technologies optimized within a single package, providing both electrified and conventional powertrain options. Dana’s support for new energy vehicles has been considerable, and growing every year, as the importance of engineering for hybridization and electrification is further elevated throughout the industry.”

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Source: Mecalac via Green Car Congress

Categories: General, Trucks


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16 Comments on "Compact Electric Excavator Becomes Reality: World’s First"

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Electric (Battery Powered) Construction Equipment, Tractors, and the like, may well be a whole new market, and as alluded to here, one where LiFePO4 is the better choice, since extra weight is sometimes the important element!

Looking forward for the drag racing videos between this and the existing CAT excavators…should be fun.

This would be good in mines and tunnels and other confined spaces.

This would also be good for urban construction projects were noise and diesel smoke pollution around houses causes trouble.

Not to mention construction sites of the future won’t smell like burned diesel fuel.

Never heard of that brand.

Mr. Google suggests the brand was spun off from Volvo construction equipment in 1998, and their website says “Our manufacturing facilities are located in France, in Germany and in Turkey.”

Mecalac a French company merged with Ahlmann, a German company. They have probably not sold many/any in Norway.
I tend to see Volvo, Kobelco, Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo, Doosan, CAT, JCB, Hitatchi, FIAT, Brøyt, Åkerman, FIAT Hitatchi, Brøyt Åkerman, New Holland, CNH, Komatsu, Kubota, Liebherr, Mitsubishi. . that is about all I can remember to have seen.

Sizewise looks to be the E version of the Bobcat for the 21st century.

The square-cube law (generally, objects including vehicles get heavier far faster than they get bigger) indicates smaller sizes will be more practical for machines which rely on battery power. As battery energy density increases and prices drop, we should see BEV powertrains gradually appearing in larger and larger construction vehicles.

That isn’t necessarily the case with excavators pictured above. They don’t typically do all that much moving, it is more efficient to load a truck and let it move the dirt. The bucket is still hydraulic and that’s likely where electric efficiency kicks in.

Unfortunately, the hydraulics will probably still be noisy unless they’ve made a specific attempt to quiet things down. Too bad they didn’t have one actually in operation.

Thanks for the link but watched 3 of them in total and there are always announcers shouting and inane music playing in the background, when all I want is to hear the machine work. At first blush I wonder what they are trying to hide with all that camouflage .

Price tag? Also a price comparison to it’s gas/diesel brethren.

This stuff is good for urban work sites where the diesel noise and fumes are a burden for those living nearby. Not to mention the benefits for the workers needing to work close to this equipment…

Also, the efficiency gains will be tremendous. The diesel engines of this kind of equipment must run continuously to keep the hydraulic system under pressure. No need for that with an electric motor!

Do they mean first, other than the Volvo EX2 from 2017?

How will it be recharged on a construction site?