Hyundai CE and Cummins partner on electric mini excavator

hyundai construction equipment

Hyundai Construction Equipment and Cummins Inc. have partnered to develop a fully electric-powered compact excavator.

This year, the electric test vehicle was displayed at bauma as well as the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE).

“Hyundai is pleased to collaborate with a global industry leader like Cummins to address what both companies expect to be a burgeoning demand for electric-powered compact excavators,” said Stan Park, vice president of distribution and marketing at Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas.

“Cummins sought out Hyundai for this project after it found growing interest – especially in the rental market – in fully electric-powered machines.”

The 3.5-ton excavator contains eight BM4.4E modules connected in a series configuration to provide a total energy of 35 kWh.

Mounted near the base of the excavator, the Cummins-designed and built battery modules use lithium-ion technology to achieve a higher energy density and proprietary control technology to maintain the battery state-of-charge for a longer zero emission range. The modular design also allows for scalability to other applications and duty cycles. 

Clean, quiet power

Powered by Cummins BM4.4E flexible battery modules (4.4 kWh each), the Hyundai R35E excavator prototype is designed to support a full work shift.

“If you operate it continuously, it’s going to be less, but typically you’re not operating this type of machine continuously,” said David Venable, Director of the off-highway sub-segment at Cummins.  “You can recharge this in about 3 hours.”

The machine also eliminates all emissions and substantially reduces noise, making it ideal for use in urban and suburban construction. 

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Although the machine is still in its protoype phase, Park sees demand for the excavator in the rental market, as well as municipalities focused on green initiatives, in urban construction where machine noise can be an issue, and in applications that are exposed to fire hazards. He added Hyundai is committed to developing this type of technology.

“The R35E will not be our only fully electric-powered excavator,” Park said.