In recent years, environmental regulations have been tightened in various countries and regions around the world to combat global warming and create low-carbon societies. In the construction machinery industry, like the automobile industry, expectations are growing for electric construction machinery which does not emit carbon dioxide or other exhaust gases during operation. In particular, need for battery-powered electric construction machinery are growing in the European market with respect to the hydraulic excavators used in construction work in dense urban areas.
Hitachi Construction Machinery has been involved in the development and manufacture of electric construction machinery from the early stages. To improve the work environment, as well as launching a battery-powered mini excavator in the 2000s, the company has delivered a total of over 100 small and medium-sized wired electric hydraulic excavators mainly in the Japanese market. In addition, to reduce customer running costs in the mining field, Hitachi Construction Machinery has successfully delivered many wired ultra-large hydraulic excavators to mining sites around the world.
The major advantages of the current ZX55U-6EB battery-powered mini excavator are that it is based on a short rear-end swing design mini excavator (5-tonne class) which allows efficient operation even in confined spaces, it is battery powered and it can be used with a commercial power supply. In order to utilize the advantages of the mini excavator to the fullest extent, the company has miniaturized the battery system and achieved a long operating time by use with a commercial power supply. As there is no engine oil or engine oil filter requiring regular inspection and replacement as is the case with diesel-powered machinery, Owners can expect reduced maintenance costs and downtime, compared to diesel-powered excavators.
A communication terminal as standard allows owners to monitor battery charging status, machine location information, and electric system malfunctions, contributing to stable machine operation and lower life-cycle costs.
Although the ZX55U-6EB will not be sold in Japan, the prototype machine will be placed at Hitachi Construction Machinery’s ICT demo site for Japanese customers’ needs and market research.
Going forward, the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group will continue to work toward resolving customer issues of “improving safety,” “increasing productivity” and “reducing lifecycle costs” and strive to develop high value-added technologies and products that reduce our environmental footprint.
* The ZE85 is a battery-powered excavator developed and marketed by European Application Center GmbH, an equity method affiliate of Hitachi Construction Machinery. The company was established in 2018 to develop electrification and application development products for construction machinery.