Case Construction Equipment has introduced “Project Zeus” — the 580 EV (electric vehicle), the construction industry’s first fully electric backhoe loader. The power and performance of the 580 EV is equivalent to other diesel-powered backhoes in the Case product line and provides considerably lower daily operating costs while also producing zero emissions. City governments and municipalities will benefit from the elimination of emissions for working in urban environments and close to other buildings/people, as well as the reduced noise generated by the equipment.
Two units have already been sold to utilities in the United States. Case has the capability to produce additional units throughout 2020 before ramping up production to meet greater demand in following years.
The 580 EV is powered by a 480-volt, 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged by any 220-volt/three-phase connection. While applications will vary, each charge will support most common eight-hour workdays. The battery separately powers the drivetrain and hydraulic motors, resulting in hydraulic breakout forces equal to diesel-powered machines and improved performance during simultaneous loader and drivetrain operation.
While every application will be different based on its workload, it is estimated that the 580 EV could save fleets as much as 90% in annual vehicle service and maintenance costs when taking into account the reduction/elimination of diesel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid, regular preventive maintenance, and long-term engine upkeep/maintenance (and the associated labor rates and time savings).
While the 580 EV will be sold at a higher initial price than diesel-powered backhoe loaders, it is estimated that average fleets will see a payback on that premium in roughly five years.
Each 580 EV comes standard with Case SiteWatch telematics for additional monitoring and management of machine performance and utilization.