Currently reading: Bobcat T7X is groundbreaking new electric digger
The world's first fully electric mini-digger claims to have the charge for a full day's labour

Doosan Bobact has unveiled a literally groundbreaking new electric vehicle: what it claims is the world's first full electric mini-digger. 

The Bobcat T7X is a compact truck loader that the American firm showed at the recent CES tech show in Las Vegas. It joins a larger electric excavator (US parlance for a full-size digger) in the firm’s growing line-up of zero emission industrial machines.

The new machine is powered by a 62kWh battery lithium-ion battery, which allows for around four hours of continuous electric-only running – or enough for a full day given the breaks usually involved in digging and loading work.

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The T7X also uses electric actuators and motors in place of the hydraulics that usually power the loading arms. That also means it uses significantly less fluid than a regular mini-digger: Bobcat claims it needs 0.9 litres of eco-friendly coolant, compared to the 259 litres uses by a usual diesel/hydraulic mini-digger.

As is traditional with electric vehicles, the electric powertrain offers instant power and full torque, saving the time usually taken to build up hydraulic pressure and making on-site manoeuvring easier. Another benefit that the silent running the machine offers will enable it to be used in noise sensitive areas, while Bobcat also claims substantially lower running costs. The T7X has also been developed with smart software so that its performance can be adjusted for a variety of job situations, allowing for variable drive speed and the like.

Bobcat will launch the T7X with a range of electric attachments to enable specific tasks, including an electrically-powered auger for digging holes, an angle broom for sweeping and a grabber for holding materials.

Bobcat has given no indication of price for the T7X, when it will be available or if it will be offered outside of the US. The North Dakota-based firm, which is owned by the Korean Doosan Group, does have a European operation based in the Czech Republic.

While the machine is the first full-electric mini digger, other firms have developed other electric industrial vehicle. British firm JCB already offers a small electric excavator, for example, and is also working on hydrogen technology for larger vehicles.

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The new Bobcat T7X is a truly groundbreaking electric digger

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LucyP 13 January 2022

Why is this even being featured? I thought it was called "Autocar". Why are you talking about a mini-digger that is for building site use only, not road transport. 

russ13b 13 January 2022

Sites need mains electric installng before work starts, having these charging from a big Cummins diesel generator makes no sense. That's not me being sceptical, a site i heard of using the JCB diggers needed twice as many machines as the batteries didn't have enough run time, and 24 hour security as they were all charging overnight from a diesel generator the size of a small shipping container. Early adopters always get stiffed with the bugs and problems, but having them running like that is madness.

Bob Cat Brian 13 January 2022
russ13b wrote:

Sites need mains electric installng before work starts, having these charging from a big Cummins diesel generator makes no sense. That's not me being sceptical, a site i heard of using the JCB diggers needed twice as many machines as the batteries didn't have enough run time, and 24 hour security as they were all charging overnight from a diesel generator the size of a small shipping container. Early adopters always get stiffed with the bugs and problems, but having them running like that is madness.

 

'I heard of'. This is almost certainly a myth/lie told by someone with an agenda or just a Luddite. Any site that commits to using this electric plant (and the additional cost for doing so) isn't going to do so blindly and rely on a generator to power them. 

There are many instances; enclosed spaces, areas with noise restrictions etc, where these already make perfect sense now, despite their current limitations  

I look forward to going into sites where diesel fumes and engine noise are a thing of the past. 

russ13b 13 January 2022

A friend works in construction, they had them, but not at the exact site he works at. Yes they were using the site diesel generator to charge them, there was no alternative, and no the run time wasn't enough for a machine to do a day's work. It's a statement of the obvious to say they are ideal for some situations, so is a shovel. When there is no engine noise there will be something to replace it, health and safety won't let machines run completely silently.