RACINE, WI—Case has been a leading manufacturer of tractors ever since the days when steam engines roamed the earth in the late 19th century. The 179-year-old company recently stepped into the future when it delivered the construction industry’s first electric backhoe loaders.
The 580 EV machines from Case Construction Equipment are currently in use by National Grid, New York State Gas & Electric and Rochester Gas & Electric. They provide the power and performance traditionally associated with diesel-powered equipment, but produce zero emissions.
The 580 EV is powered by a 480-volt, 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion WhisperDrive battery pack supplied by Green Machine Equipment Inc. According to Case, it can be charged by any 220-volt connection.
“While applications vary, each charge can support common eight-hour workdays,” says Leandro Lecheta, head of construction for North America at Case Construction Equipment. “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.
“The 580 EV could save fleets as much as 90 percent in annual vehicle service and maintenance costs when taking into account the reduction or elimination of diesel fuel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid, regular preventive maintenance, and long-term engine upkeep andmaintenance (and the associated labor rates and time savings),” claims Lecheta.