The viability of all-electric vehicles in the construction industry is closer to today than ever before. But with limitations in charging infrastructure, concerns about battery runtime, and market demand, these machines are likely still a few years away from major prominence at your local sites.
Meanwhile, the construction industry has seen a massive movement in its commitment to carbon emission reduction. The sales and manufacturing of electric and hybrid machines in the industry has increased considerably over the last few years, making the future clear but also creating pressure on construction companies to develop sustainable strategies and move to greener energy sources quickly.
To transition to all-electric vehicles and a more sustainable, energy-efficient operation, many construction companies are looking to phase out their traditional gas vehicles with hybrid machines when the application works for the job.
“It’s no secret that customers are looking to reduce fuel and decarbonize. But they’re also still looking to increase productivity at their site with high-performance machines. Hybrid vehicles are the perfect solution to do both.”
said Kurt Moncini, Product Manager, Product and Services, at Komatsu.
Komatsu’s HB365LC-3 hybrid excavator is a machine that helps Komatsu reach its own carbon neutrality goals, committing to halving CO2 emissions from 2010 levels by 2030 and working to achieve net zero CO2 emissions (carbon neutrality) from their production activities by 2050. The HB365LC-3 excavator is built to offer customers a significant reduction in emissions with its hybrid energy conservation system, Tier 4 Final diesel engine, hybrid technology and an ultra-low idle speed delivers up to 20% fuel savings compared to Komatsu’s non-hybrid excavators.
“I think many customers are still waiting for all-electric machines to evolve more. With some, the jury’s still out. But hybrid vehicles like the HB365LC-3 have been around for years and they’ve proven what they can do in the field.”
For more than 20 years, Komatsu has offered a range of hybrid solutions, with thousands of machines currently in the field across all regions. The HB365LC-3 uses an electric swing motor-generator that captures excess kinetic energy and stores it in a Komatsu ultra-capacitor. The stored energy is then sent to either the electric swing motor when required for swinging or an engine-mounted motor-generator to provide fast engine response from an ultra-low 700 rpm idle speed. The hydraulic power normally needed by the swing system is now completely available for boom, arm and bucket power, helping to improve digging cycle time and increase productivity.