Electric Vehicles Change The Face of Industrial Sector

The industrial sector accounts for roughly 33 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to Our World In Data. As a major contributor to our carbon footprint, many ask if the recent surge of electric vehicles is going to include industrial and construction vehicles. That is a question contractors like US-based Goodfellow Brothers are beginning to answer. In partnership with Caterpillar, they have begun to field three special-edition CAT D6 XE electric dozers, replacing three of their diesel ones.

A Concerted Effort

Patrick Kearns, Caterpillar North America’s region manager, spoke of the benefits of their partnership with Goodfellow Brothers and Hawthorne Cat. According to him, the partnership offers them the unprecedented opportunity to create special milestones in the world of industrial vehicles. The new medium track-type tractor commemorates all that they have accomplished with one another’s help.

Vast Strides Made In Performance

Compared to the 3-speed model D6T, the D6XE boasts 35% better fuel efficiency and more agile design thanks to its elevated sprockets. This translates to 10 percent more material moved per hour. Kearns says that the highly streamlined design, coupled with the fact that it has a fully electric drive, symbolizes their commitment to help build a better world through their work. The electric drive delivers maximum torque at all speeds. It has also proved itself to be more durable and easier to diagnose than its fossil fuel counterparts. This reduces maintenance and service costs.

Other Electric Industrial Vehicles Being Revealed

Many big names in the construction equipment manufacturing world are also coming out with their own electric construction vehicles. Japanese manufacturer Kubota recently exhibited their first electric mini excavator prototype. The reveal was presented in Kyoto City, as part of Kubota’s commitment to the global effort to shift to electric power. An earlier prototype was put forward by Bobcat back in 2016. Even then, it proved to be capable of working a full eight-hour day given two and a half hours to get to full charge. Bobcat also unveiled their first electric skid-steer loader, the T76e, at the 2020 Conexpo. The T76e was designed to be more controllable than its diesel counterparts. This makes it far less likely to wear down the rubber tracks designed for it.

The Impact These Vehicles Can Have On The Industrial And Construction Sectors

Now that construction firms have an alternative, international organizations might see fit to completely ban diesel-operated machines in the future. The EU will probably be one of the first to implement this, seeing as they regularly tighten emission regulations. Knowing this, it would probably be in the best interest of construction companies to switch to electric as soon as possible to stay ahead of the restrictions. As of now, the main challenge to this lies in the lack of appropriate charging stations in a plant or construction site  However, Caterpillar, Bobcat, and Kubota are all working on a solution for that.

Firms like Goodfellow Bros. prove that the industrial sector can and will take responsibility for its effect on the environment. Time will tell how effective their measures are. But now that there are alternatives on offer, we can expect to see some significant shifts to electric within the sector very soon.

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