Gww contractor Ploegam, certified at level 5 on the CO2 Performance Ladder, has developed a 30-ton crawler excavator together with Doosan importer Staad and electrification company UMS. An interchangeable battery pack must ensure that the machine can be used 24/7. The three companies will immediately launch three battery-electric excavators: a 2-ton mini, a 16-ton tire crane and the 30-ton crawler excavator. The machines are also for sale for other companies.
The first three machines are currently being built and are expected to start operating in July 2020.
Chris Ploegmakers, co-owner of Ploegam: 'We were looking for an answer to the nitrogen and CO2 problems. That is why we urgently need emission-free equipment. This is also what our clients ask for. In addition, we wanted a heavy machine, a 30-tonner, that we can run 24/7. It should not be at the expense of our daily production and efficiency. And then we can wait for subsidy schemes or manufacturers and dealers, but we don't want to depend on that. That's why we took action ourselves. "
Ploegam's tough requirement to be able to run around the clock with the heaviest machines has led to the solution of interchangeable battery packs. The battery packs must be usable in several models of the machines. Changing the batteries is, according to the partners, simple and safe, comparable to hand tools. A package would have been exchanged in about ten minutes.
The batteries are built into a large, waterproof cube made of 8 millimeter thick coated sheet steel. The package is placed in the back, where the diesel engine normally sits. The same box containing the hydraulic pump, the electric motor and other electronics will be installed at the location of the diesel and AdBlue tank, to the right of the cabin.
The battery packs together have a capacity of 390 kWh. With a fast charger and a connection point for power current, an empty battery can be filled in about an hour and a half. If a 'normal' charger is used, the charging time is approximately eight hours.
Chris Ploegmakers also looks further ahead. "We are only at the beginning. Ultimately, as Ploegam, we want to make all our equipment electric. Then you are talking about eighty machines. Our ambition is to be at the forefront of this. We not only say that we work emission-free, we are going to do it. Together we will go to an emission-free construction site. '