Electrification of heavy-duty construction vehicles – a study (part 1)

Due to stringent C02-emission measures for constructions projects in the Netherlands (and beyond), the demand for electric versions of  heavy-duty construction equipment is larger than the current production. This means there is a growing market for the electrification of construction equipment. Power Battery has decided to conduct a feasibility study, to determine how they can contribute to this trend by offering standardized solutions and battery packs for retrofitting vehicles to electric vehicles with zero emission!

Outlining the feasibility study

Laurence Smits is an automotive major at Fontys university for applied sciences, who conducts the research, and will process the results into a comprehensive result for Power Battery. He says about this study: “We found there are roughly 40-50 different types of heavy-duty vehicles that can be employed at a construction site. There is a wide variation in applications for these vehicles, but they also have a few things in common, such as their weight (as much as 40 tons or more) and huge diesel tanks (up to 1000 liters and more).”

“With a fuel consumption of up to 30 l/hr, you can imagine how much C02-emission you can reduce for the entire construction project, if these vehicles would all be EV’s.”, Laurence adds. In the Netherlands construction profits are generally assigned to the construction company who can deliver the best quality for the best price. Today, C02-emissions are starting to play an increasing part in the decision-making processes of local governments and building corporations. So, bids are won by the company that offers the lowest emissions on top of the quality of the building project itself. That is the foundation of the business case for acquiring electric versions of construction equipment.

Electric construction equipment is still scarce

There is a high demand for electric construction equipment in the current market, that is not being met by equipment manufacturers. That means that mass-electrification of conventional construction vehicles is economically viable. Power Battery has spoken to several parties in the market and is looking to build long-term partnerships with retrofitting companies, lease companies and equipment dealers by offering them standardized solutions.

For our study, the next step is deciding on one type of construction vehicle and designing a professional, safe and durable drop-in battery pack, that can survive the brutal live at a construction site. With this design, we can produce these standard packs in the right volumes. Laurence says: “The next step in my research will be to design a battery pack in CAD that can be used as a standard pack. Then, I’ll build a prototype, so we can test it in a live vehicle.”

So far, our study has shown some positive outcomes and we expect to move quickly to the next phase. Then we can complete our study, also taking scalability and total cost-of-ownership into account.

Are you interested in participating in our study? You’d be helping us to build a greener future by electrifying construction equipment! Contact us to participate, or with any questions you may have for us!


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