Korean industrial giant Hyundai and Indiana-based engine maker Cummins hope a newly announced prototype will sharply reduce emissions at construction sites.
The companies on Monday introduced a 3.5-ton “mini” excavator. The prototype, built by Hyundai Construction Equipment, is powered by eight Cummins battery modules that allow it to charge in less that three hours and operate for a full eight-hour shift.
Company officials said their construction customers are already expressing interest in electrification options and suggested the model would be particularly important in urban, residential areas, which are likely to see stricter emissions and noise requirements “in the near future.”
Cities currently looking to enact zero-emission standards for passenger vehicles are likely to expand those to include small and medium-sized construction vehicles, the companies added.
“This electric-powered mini excavator is an exciting celebration of the future of electrified construction equipment — combining the strengths of HCE’s versatile excavator with Cummins’ lithium ion battery solutions and machine integration expertise,” Julie Furber, Cummins’ executive director of electrified power, said in a statement.