Hyundai CE develops 2-ton electric excavator prototype

electric excavator

Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas is continuing to expand development of electric-powered construction equipment, and recently debuted a prototype of a compact electric excavator. 

Hyundai showcased the prototype of the Hyundai R18E electric-powered compact excavator, which the company developed exclusively in-house. 

The Hyundai R18E is a two-ton-class machine designed for use both indoors and in urban settings. Offering power and productivity equivalent to the Hyundai’s diesel-powered R17Z-9A compact excavator, the R18E is 60 per cent more energy efficient. 

“Through our own resources, and in collaboration with a global industry leader like Cummins, Hyundai demonstrates a commitment to meet the growing demand for electric-powered compact excavators,” said Stan Park, vice president of distribution and marketing for Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas. 

Quiet performance

Electric-powered compact excavators offer a variety of benefits, including zero carbon emissions and quiet operations.

“One of the key features of a machine like this is the quietness. It goes from 5 decibels to 75 decibels,” said Tito Sosa, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas senior product specialist.

With an operating weight of 1,725 kg, digging depth of 2.4 metres and dump height of 268 cm, the R18E is powered by an induction-type motor, with a one-hour current rating of 225 amps. 

Digital control of the electric excavator is provided through a microcontroller. The machine can operate up to eight hours on a full charge and can be fully recharged in five hours. 

The Hyundai-developed excavator uses a LFP type Li-ION battery, generating a power capacity of 19.6 hp. Its battery charger is rated at 4 hp, with a free voltage range of 100-230 volts AC.

The 2-ton electric excavator is expected to launch sometime in 2022. 

Electric excavator collaboration

Hyundai has also partnered with Cummins to create a 3.5-ton electric excavator. 

“Through our collaboration with Cummins, we have produced an excavator in the highly popular 3.5-ton size class,” Park said. “We expect this machine to be well received not only in the rental market, but in municipalities focused on green initiatives, in urban construction where machine noise can be an issue and in applications that are exposed to fire hazards.”  

Powered by Cummins BM4.4E flexible battery modules, which generates 5.9 hp each, the Hyundai R35E excavator prototype is designed to support a full work shift and charge in less than three hours. 

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

You may also like:

The excavator contains eight BM4.4E modules connected in a series configuration to provide a total energy of 47 hp. 

Mounted near the base of the electric 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