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Doosan Bobcat starts production of battery-powered compact excavator

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 30, 2019, 15:30 Updated : July 30, 2019, 15:30

Workers at Doosan Bobcat's plant in Dobris assemble an E10e compact excavator. [Courtesy of Doosan Bobcat]

SEOUL -- Doosan Bobcat., a construction equipment maker of South Korea's Doosan Group, has started mass-production of the world's first battery-powered one-ton excavator from its factory in Czechoslovakia. The first eco-friendly product with no internal combustion engine will be delivered to a Dutch client.

Doosan Bobcat said in a statement on Tuesday that its plant in Dobris southwest of Prague has started mass production of E10e, a compact battery-powered excavator, with initial products to be shipped to clients in Sweden, Germany, Australia and Norway, who have placed pre-orders.

Some 50 E10es to be produced this year have already been sold out, Doosan Bobcat said, adding it would increase production next year. While diesel compact excavators remain predominant, demands for eco-friendly and power-efficient electric-powered excavators are rising. Electric diggers can be used in urban construction sites because they are quieter than diesel models and emit no fumes.

"Because there is more demand than production capacity, orders for this year's production volume have already been completed, and we continue to receive orders for next year's volume," a Doosan Bobcat official was quoted as saying. "In addition to E10e, Doosan Bobcat plans to add a line-up of eco-friendly products powered by electricity."

The E10e model runs solely on electric motors and has the same power and performance as the diesel engine product of its class, and it can work for up to four hours straight on a single charge, the company said. Doosan Bobcat said its 400V charger can be recharged up to 80 percent within two hours during normal breaks, enabling continuous use within working hours.

Because it can be fully charged overnight with regular chargers, it can be worked on right away the next day. The new model, which is only 71 centimeters wide, is suitable for indoor demolition due to no smoke and low noise.

As environmental regulations are being strengthened around the world, major European cities such as Paris and Athens will phase out diesel vehicles. Electric diggers can be used in urban construction sites because they are quieter than diesel models and emit no fumes.

Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE), a heavy equipment maker in South Korea, has developed a 3.5-ton electric powered excavator in a joint project with Cummins, an American diesel and alternative fuel generator maker. The excavator is mounted with lithium-ion batteries which last up to eight hours.

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