A major industrial revolution is under way in the construction industry: electric motors, the batteries that power them, and the computers that enable them to work efficiently are becoming cheaper, more powerful, and easier to make. All of these developments are coming together to pave the way for innovation, paving the way for battery-powered and eco-friendly construction equipment.
Every year more and more manufacturers are coming out with fully electric construction equipment. While hybrid options do exist on the market, the demand for emission-reducing products has set the stage for raising consumer interest in electric construction equipment.
The following three reasons are why your company would benefit from making the switch to battery-powered construction equipment:
Fewer Emissions with Battery-Powered Construction Equipment
Running electric motors contributes to less pollution in comparison to internal combustion engines, since they do not rely directly on burning fuels. Not only will they produce a safer environment, but also utilize cleaner construction equipment. All-electric machines may save construction companies money down the line by entitling them to emission-reducing tax incentives.
Battery-Powered Construction Equipment Produces Less Noise
A common complaint heard on construction sites by neighboring communities is that they produce a lot of noise. With the use of quieter, electric machines, construction can be conducted in stricter areas and with longer workdays. Some jurisdictions may even possibly allow for construction sites to be run at night.
Lower Maintenance Costs Versus Traditional Gas-Powered Equipment
Electric motors have very few internal combustion engines and therefore fewer moving parts. This means that there is way less that can go wrong since electric construction equipment breaks down less frequently and requires fewer checkups. Construction companies who decide to buy, lease or rent this equipment will end up being slowed down less frequently for equipment downtime and spending less on maintenance than their diesel fueled counterparts.
Electric construction equipment has benefits for all stakeholders along the value chain
The modeled benefits of battery-powered equipment will certainly apply to every stakeholder in the heavy machinery and equipment industry. The adoption of electrification will be experienced by individual players that make strategic considerations dependent on which parts of the value chain they occupy.
A large-scale shift toward electric equipment for operators could yield combined annual savings of more than $30 billion in operations costs. An initial new-equipment investment, of course, is required to see long-term savings. Assuming that operators are adopting full electrification in about 20 percent of applications.
In order to capture electrification’s potential, operators should consider what role they can take. This includes whether they should wait for technology to develop further or simply bet on large-scale electrification by being a fast adopter through selected pilots.
Original Equipment Manufacturers
OEMs have a big opportunity to drive innovation in this new promising field. New service-type opportunities beyond equipment could arise in areas such as battery service solutions, peak-balancing services and other connected services around energy optimization.
Electric vehicle product offerings and development should be a conscious strategic choice made by OEMs when considering market position, product range, customer exposure, product- and component-standardization strategy, cost model and more. A core strategy question will be finding a convincing answer on whether to make or buy. This choice has implications for potential speed to market, cost competitiveness, access to core technologies and room for differentiation.
In bringing electronic vehicle products to the market, OEMs will need to determine to follow either a first-mover or follower strategy. Considerations include deciding which categories and customers to target first and how to secure access to much-needed battery capacity.
The adoption of battery-electric equipment for suppliers means shifts in landscape and value chain. The opportunity to transform and reinvent in order to capture these opportunities will require suppliers to build the right assets and skills by investing in talent and upskilling.
New technologies are constantly emerging, and suppliers need to consider how the relevance of their components will develop with new areas to expand into. Current commercial vehicle suppliers should consider where synergies may exist and where differentiation may be the best strategy.
Driving forces for electrification
Research shows that battery operated machinery can be economically viable for construction machinery and equipment types. Actual market adoption will depend on the following barriers and drivers.
The total cost of ownership for battery-powered equipment is approximately 20 percent lower than that of traditional internal combustion engines. The battery electric vehicle total cost of ownership advantage is driven by a significantly lower operating cost, despite the still higher up-front costs relative to internal combustion engines.
Stricter regulation on the global, regional and local levels are emerging for heavy machinery and equipment. Some jurisdictions are placing bans on diesel and stricter regulations on nitrogen oxides and particulates. The emissions and noise-pollution standards that are set by these regulations are more easily met with electric equipment.
One of the major barriers to the adoption of electrified equipment is the downtime necessary for charging. Several heavy machinery and equipment types may charge slowly due to the remoteness of work sites and limited or unreliable access to electricity. However, charging solutions are improving significantly and battery solutions are continuing to develop. At Cratos, our equipment stores battery packs which allow equipment to run for about 5 to 8 hours.
Battery powered machinery has better maneuverability, drivability and independent wheel control than those with internal combustion engines. There is also significant synergy potential with automation and connectivity. Sometimes irregular usage patterns and performance requirements will not allow for regular charging, but large-scale battery electric implementation is generally not limiting.
Historically, a limited supply of products had been a significant barrier. Although now several commercial solutions are emerging on the market, both from established original equipment manufacturers and new entrants that enable an easier purchasing experience.
Cratos sets the standard for battery-powered construction equipment. Progressive and established companies looking for eco-friendly innovation to save time, money, manpower and fuel costs should consider making the switch towards battery-electric vehicles. We bring old-school power and reliability to a new era in construction equipment! From excavators to skid steers and power wheelbarrows, get your worksite more efficient with Cratos Equipment.