The Future Is Bright: Electric Compact Equipment

Published on October 15, 2020

More and more equipment owners and companies are making strides toward sustainability and electrification, particularly in the construction market. We’re working to meet that demand. New electric prototype machines and concept machines are the next way Bobcat is changing the industry.

With these new solutions – featuring a battery electric powertrain along with traditional hydraulics – we’re proving that electric equipment can deliver the performance, uptime and versatility that operators need, while also providing the comfort and ease of use that they demand. Our prototypes are working, functional machines that are closer to commercialization, while our concept machines aren’t quite as far along in production.

Electric Bobcat Prototype Machines

Our first electric prototype machines include the E17e electric excavator and the S70e electric loader. We designed these machines with the indoor demolition market in mind; they are smaller in size to get through doorways and produce little to no noise or emissions.  

“We’re always thinking about the next thing our customers are going to want,” says Britta Kopp, marketing manager of innovation at Bobcat. “Being environmentally conscious and seeing industries that are highly regulated with emissions, we know there’s a need for electric in the industry. We started the concept with our smaller machines for indoor demolition – areas and applications that are really regulated. But it expanded beyond the indoor applications to outdoor applications, such as airports, utility companies and other ‘green’ companies that are more conscious of their carbon footprint. They are really looking for electric as a solution and an option.”

Fully Electric Bobcat Machines

We are the first to introduce a fully electric machine. We debuted the T76e concept compact track loader in March 2020. The machine runs with absolutely no hydraulics or engine.

“It’s ultra quiet. The ride is great. You’re able to do all kinds of different adjustments,” says Joel Honeyman, vice president of Global Innovation at Doosan Bobcat. “Being able to go all-electric allows us to do all kinds of different features that we couldn’t do with our current platforms.”

One of the major innovations in this compact track loader is that electrical motors and components – rather than a hydraulic system – will provide the horsepower and performance. The new electric machines will be paired with a lineup of electronic attachments to bring even greater capabilities for positioning, power and control to the jobsite.

“While we’re not the first to have an electric solution, we are the first to have an all-electric machine,” Britta explains.

Powerful Partnerships

But we’re not stopping there. We’re partnering with other leaders in innovation to bring you more smart, sustainable solutions. We’ve teamed up with Green Machine Equipment, Inc., to produce electric/hydraulic Bobcat compact excavators. Green Machine will custom retrofit Bobcat excavators with their proprietary battery technology to replace the standard diesel power source. These excavators will provide the same power and performance as diesel-powered models, but with considerably lower daily operating costs, zero emissions and minimal maintenance.

“This strategic partnership marks another key milestone in our drive to bring the latest technologies to our customers and accelerate electrification in our industry,” Joel says. “Doosan Bobcat is excited to partner with Green Machine as part of our commitment to innovation and sustainability.”

In the not-too-distant future, electrically powered compact equipment may be the machine of choice across the industry – and we will help lead the way.

Learn more about how Bobcat is innovating and engineering the future of the compact equipment industry.