Hyundai & Cummins making mini electric excavators


Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) and Cummins cooperate in the development of electric construction machines. One prototype of a 3.5-ton electric excavator already exists and uses battery modules from Cummins designed for a full eight-hour shift.

A total of up to eight 4.4 kWh modules with a total capacity of 35 kWh are installed in the underbody of the mini electric excavator. They can be added and removed depending on the use case. According to Hyundai’s construction arm and Cummins, charging the little electric digging machine takes less than three hours.

At the moment they use the first prototype for testing in order to optimise performance and improve marketability. The target market are urban construction sites where the machines have to operate under space restrictions and increasingly regulation of emissions from both fumes and noise.

Therefore, Hyundai sees potential, explains HCE senior executive vice president and CTO DS Kim: “HCE anticipates mini excavators, which operate in urban workplaces close to residential areas, will be a prime candidate to electrify to meet zero-emission and low noise requirements in the near future.”

Despite Cummins being founded on mostly diesel products, the company has recently started to focus on electrified solutions. Just this summer the U.S. firm acquired the electric motor specialist Efficient Drivetrains (EDI). This was Cummins third acquisition in this technology field within a year and for them it is all a commitment to the zeitgeist. CEO Tom Linebarger said at the time: “As power needs and technologies continue to evolve, Cummins remains committed to innovations that will deliver the right power solutions for the right applications at the right time to help our customers’ succeed.”

The mini electric excavator and the partnership with Hyundai Construction Equipment is on the same line of thought. Says Julie Furber, Cummins director for EV matters: “This electric powered mini excavator is (…) combining the strengths of HCE’s versatile excavator with Cummins’ lithium ion battery solutions and machine integration expertise.”

Testing commences.


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