Backhoes... Electrified

Oct. 6, 2022

Two New York utilities are using Case 580 EV backhoe loaders, the electric machine introduced at Conexpo 2020.

New York State Gas & Electric and Rochester Gas & Electric each have a unit. Case VP, North America, Terry Dolan, says reviews so far have been “outstanding.”

 “The response from the customers, on the use of it, the response has been great,” Dolan says. “The runtime they’ve been getting from it, and also, they like the ability to operate in residential environments without a lot of the sound that you would have with a traditional unit.

“So we’re still on the journey, we’re still in the development; I’d say it’s similar to the Minotaur where it’s not about speed [to market], it’s about swiftness and making sure we’re getting the testing done with the customers, getting the response of the customers, understanding the changes that need to be made to that product to really give it what the contractors and utilities are looking for,” Dolan says. “Over the coming years, you’ll see more and more innovation on that product until it gets in full production.”

Electrification of the backhoe loader was performed in conjunction with New York companies Green Machine Equipment and Moog.The 580 EV is powered by Green Machine’s proprietary 480-volt, 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion WhisperDrive battery pack that can be charged by any 220-volt connection. Although applications vary, each charge can support common eight-hour workdays.

The battery separately powers the drivetrain and hydraulic motors, resulting in hydraulic breakout forces equal to diesel-powered machines and improved performance during simultaneous loader and drivetrain operation, according to Case.

John Deere and National Grid unveiled an electric backhoe concept, the 310X, at Utility Expo 2021. The battery-powered electric vehicle targets the ease of operation and performance level of the company’s 310L diesel-powered backhoe from 2018.

The 310L runs at 100 horsepower with an operating weight of 14,669 pounds. According to the company, the 310X electric is comparable to its diesel twin in both power and efficiency. The 310X is also 25 percent quieter than the 310L diesel machine. Attachments between the two machines are interchangeable.

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.