June 08, 2020
At CONEXPO 2020, CASE Construction Equipment launched the construction industry’s first all-electric backhoe loader. The 580 EV (Electric Vehicle) prototype, dubbed Project Zeus, offers the same power and performance as a diesel-powered CASE backhoe loader, but with zero emissions and significantly reduced operating costs. Two machines have already been sold to U.S.-based utilities and it is planned that this model will remain exclusive to the North American market.
“Since CASE designed the first fully factory-assembled backhoe loader in 1957, it has remained at the forefront of backhoe loader innovation,” said Egidio Galano, Product Manager, Compact Range, CASE Construction Equipment Europe. “The 580 EV continues this evolution and demonstrates with a significant step forward CASE’s broad commitment to a future of sustainability in construction machinery.” With the production of this prototype machine, the electrification of heavy construction equipment in the North American market becomes increasingly viable.”
The 580 EV is powered by a 480-volt, 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. It charges via any 220-volt/three-phase connection and has an operating time of about eight hours, depending on the application. Because this battery powers the power train and hydraulic motors separately, starting force is the same as a diesel-powered machine and overall performance is improved during simultaneous operation of the loader and power train.
While drastically reducing companies’ carbon footprint, it is estimated that, with the 580 EV, fleets can save up to 90% in machine operating costs by reducing or eliminating diesel, engine oil, AdBlue and long-term engine maintenance costs. In addition, the 580 EV integrates the CASE SiteWatch™ solution as standard.
All this is achieved without prejudice to the distinctive features operators expect from a CASE backhoe loader, as Galano explains: “The 580 EV operates and handles exactly like a traditional CASE backhoe loader. This is crucial when it comes to integrating cutting-edge technologies into any of CASE’s machines and means operators have the same digging and lifting capabilities in a much quieter, emission-free work environment.”
As for ProjectTETRA, the prototype methane-powered tire loader launched at bauma 2019, CASE has enlisted Michelin for the tires on the 580 EV. The Michelin CrossGrip tires used on this prototype machine feature a non-directional tread design, resulting in exceptional handling, comfort and load capacity on surfaces ranging from asphalt to snow.
The 580 EV marks CASE’s official debut in the electric construction equipment market. In partnership with sister company FPT Industrial, CASE will continue to research electrification and alternative fuel options that make a sustainable construction machinery future possible.