The Best New Electric Construction Vehicles

16 February 2023

The construction industry is changing, diesel and petrol are soon to be a thing of the past, but do we actually have the technology to replace them yet? In this article, we take a look at some of the best new electric powered construction vehicles. Are electric vehicles going to take over, or are they still a long way from dominating the market?

Everything is Changing: Electric Energy is Taking Over

Recently the team here at PAL Hire went down to the Executive Hire Show in Coventry, a great event where some of the industry’s biggest brands got to highlight their latest products and innovations.

Throughout the event it was clear that the industry is starting to move away from fossil fuels, especially since the government agreed to move forward with their ‘UK Electric Vehicle Infrastructure strategy’. A strategy that aims to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 and phase out hybrid vehicles by 2035.

This shift towards electric vehicles, or any other zero emission fuel source, has hugely impacted the construction industry, and the Executive Hire Show only reinforced this.

The government has also introduced the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, which aims to push forward for our net zero ambitions and see huge changes by 2050. This means that we will see regularly updated regulations going forward. construction sites will be pushed towards greener alternatives from now on. This means we really don’t have long to transition away from our older machines.

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What Electric Construction Vehicles Were on Show at the Event?

You could see a whole range of electric vehicles at the show, and many of the brands were really pushing these alternative fuel vehicles. Here is a rundown of some of the highlights:

SANY UK & Ireland’s Electric 2-tonne electric mini excavator – SY19E

A relative newcomer to the show, SANY were out in full force with their new SY19E model, a fully electric 2-tonne excavator that boasts fast charge times, low noise levels, and high power outputs. Their machines were hard to miss with their clean blue finish and smart design.

SANNY say, “as well as zero emissions, the compact and innovatively designed SY19E with fully electric drive is equipped with a lithium iron phosphate (cobalt free) battery which allows for faster, safer, and more efficient charging as well as a significantly longer battery life (up to 3,500 full charge cycles) to reduce total cost of ownership”.

SANNY also state that the machine has a charge time of only 1.5 hours without the need to purchase additional equipment. They also state that the maintenance charges of an electric machine such as this could be 80% less than petrol and diesel machines.

It’s easy to see why the machines were being shown off at the show, as it seems to truly offer a great alternative to traditional fuel

JCB ETECH Machines

JCB also had an impressive display for the event and were showcasing why they are one of the best in the industry with their impressive electric range of vehicles. They were out in force displaying their new ETECH machines. A fully electric range that offers zero compromise on performance and an almost silent noise output.

The most impressive aspect about the ETECH machines is the variety, they have truly created an electric machine for everything. This means you could fully replace your fleet with an electric range of vehicles and continue your workflow uninterrupted and emission free.

JCB promise fast charge times and low noise levels with their range.

The range includes Telescopic handlers, Site Dumpers, Mini Excavators, Industrial Forklifts, Power Packs, Access Platforms, and much more.

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Ammann ARX Tandem Rollers

Amman is a world leading supplier of mixing plants, machines, and services to the construction industry that specialises in road building our transportation infrastructure. They were happy to be showcasing their ARX series of electric rollers that promise to let you ‘enjoy the silence’.

The series is zero emission with a fully electric drive. They state it has an advanced battery pack with a long life cycle, high capacity and optimal safety. They also state that the range has 100% traction control for performance on difficult terrains.

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Part of the events innovation trail, a specific list of vendors that were deemed to be some of the more innovative of the day, THWAITES were their to showcase their all electric 3-tonne electric dumper.

The event guide states “Thwaites stand will be the first in the UK to see an advanced, all electric, concept 3-tonne electric dumper.”

With such a hook it’s easy to see why they were one of the event favourites. Their new machine provides yet another example of how amazing electric machines can be. With such a range on display, it’s easy to see how the industry could realistically begin to move away from the older diesel and petrol machines.

What is the Future of Excavators?

Excavators will inevitably move away from diesel and petrol fuel options. Industry leading manufacturers are designing better electric options every day. As we move forward, soon the innovations seen for electric, or other possible zero emission options, will outweigh the traditional fuel innovations.

As less resources are used to improve older machines, soon the only options for newer machines will be to choose electric vehicles. Already the benefits are amazing, the machines are not as noisy, the maintenance costs are lower, the running costs are lower, and they help to keep our emissions low.

Should Construction Businesses be Looking to Make the switch Now?

It is hard to say when you should transition away from traditional fuel sources. Depending on your budget, older machines could be your only option; however, newer electric machines could be a safer investment.

They are cheaper to run, a newer machine is less likely to encounter issues, and they help you to keep up with the up-and-coming inevitable legislation changes and updates.

On the flip side, electric machines are still new to the game, and we could see even better options in a few more years. Hence, it is hard to say if you should be making the change right now.

Luckily, companies such as us, give you the option to hire equipment. Not sure if the new electric vehicles are right for you? Try one out on your next job, hire one out and see how it handles. Does it do a better job than what you currently have? Then maybe it is worth making the change.

Did it not impress you? Wait a bit longer for some further developments. It’s worth testing because it’s only inevitable that you will be moving towards an electric future.

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What are Alternatives to Electric?

Electric seems to be the forerunner in the zero emissions race. However, hydrogen is also a viable option that many companies are contemplating on incorporating into future designs or products.

Electric energy is also not as simple as just saying electricity, we have a variety of methods for producing electricity and some are better than others. Solar power is a very cost effective and eco friendly way of acquiring electrical power and some industry leaders are looking into better ways of harnessing solar energy to power sites and machines. The Executive Hire show had a lot of different generators on display and some of these were offering incredible methods of solar energy.

Other Things Present at the Hire Show?

We also saw a whole plethora of items on display at the event. From Hilti’s Nuron cordless platform to Genquip’s iRange of welfare units. It seems obvious that all aspects of construction are moving towards zero emission alternatives. Newcomers such as Lifos were showcasing some incredible solar generators as well. We were seriously impressed by those and managing director Adrian Williams gave an amazing demonstration and discussion about their product.

This is also only the beginning though, it’s clear the industry has a long way to go but we are truly at the start of some fantastic innovations, ideas, and concepts.

Where Can I Find Electric Construction Equipment?

It depends if you are looking to buy or hire, if you are looking to hire then the team here at PAL Hire would be more than happy to help. We supply national hire solutions for all types of equipment. Even if you are looking to buy some equipment, then maybe hiring it for a month or two first might be a good idea. That way you can test out the equipment without buying it. This is a great option if you are looking to transition your fleet to electric powered vehicles.

You can speak to someone from our team by ringing:

0161 482 6200

Alternatively, you can head over to our eco equipment page here for more info.