Mecalac electric excavator wins INTERMAT innovation award

Mecalac INTERMAT excavator
The e12 is the electric version of Mecalac’s 12MTX excavator.

The Mecalac e12 — billed as the world’s first compact wheeled excavator running only on electricity without compromising on battery life, performance and compactness — has won the INTERMAT Innovation Award for Energy Transition.

The Energy Transition award is one of five special awards reflecting the most up-to-date issues at stake in the construction sector. The awards were announced in Paris on Jan. 18, at a pre-INTERMAT event.

The 100 per cent electric excavator was created to meet three key requirements for urban building sites.

“Any electric engine must rise to three major challenges: range, performance and compactness,” said Patrick Brehmer, head of design and product management for Mecalac. “The key to our machine’s range and performance is in its very architecture. The power source – which is separate from the upper structure – means we can install a record capacity of 146 kWh, which results in an unrivalled range of eight hours.”

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The e12 is the electric version of Mecalac’s 12MTX excavator. The architecture of the internal combustion version of the 12MTX made it a natural forerunner of the electric version.

The emplacement for an internal combustion engine now houses LiFePO4 battery technology – lithium iron phosphate for three times as many charge cycles – that combines a service life better than classic batteries, with no risk of fire or risk of battery fluid leaks, according to the company.

The machine features two electric motors: one powering the excavation mechanism and one for movement.

Aside from its range, the company claims its 100 per cent electric transmission offers “unrivalled” tractive force as soon as the engine is started, with brake energy regeneration. As well, the electric motors’ power density is compact and requires no maintenance, as it does not require oil or filters.

Its articulated chassis means the excavator is able to move easily around any site, which also plays a role in its overall performance. The e12 includes a charging station that may be used to recharge it on site in six to seven hours.