CONEXPO: Case Construction unveils Project Zeus, its first all-electric backhoe loader

It is expected to ship as early as Q2 of 2020; expansion will occur in 2021

March 10, 2020
CONEXPO: Case Construction unveils Project Zeus, its first all-electric backhoe loader

On day one of ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020, Case Construction announced the release of its 580EV all-electric backhoe loader.

This is an all-electric machine that the company says offers the same breakout force as the diesel model. They are calling it Project Zeus, keeping to a mythological theme after Tetra and Minotaur, respectively. This “green” machine will be available on the East Coast as early as this coming spring.

The company is going all in on alternative propulsion, including compressed natural gas, batteries, and fuel cell alternatives.

The 580 EV is the second major alternative-powered machine introduced by CASE — the manufacturer rolled out the FPT Industrial methane-powered concept wheel loader ProjectTETRA at Bauma 2019. Electrification was performed in conjunction with Green Machine Equipment, Inc. and Moog Inc., and with direct input from utilities and other businesses focused on converting significant portions of their fleets to fully electric backhoes. CASE also partnered with Michelin to outfit the first-of-its-kind machine with specialized MICHELIN CrossGrip tires for even greater efficiency and handling.

The 580 EV is powered by a 480-volt, 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged by any 220-volt/three-phase connection. While applications will vary, each charge will support most common eight-hour workdays. 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 operates with zero emissions — lowering the total carbon footprint for its owners. These are important environmental considerations, but the new backhoe also helps improve fiscal sustainability.

  • While every application will be different based on its workload, it is estimated that the 580 EV could save fleets as much as 90% in annual vehicle service and maintenance costs when taking into account the reduction/elimination of diesel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid, regular preventive maintenance and long-term engine upkeep/maintenance (and the associated labor rates and time savings).

  • Some utilities and contractors are incentivized to deploy electric equipment and vehicles in their fleets, providing even greater financial benefit and further lowering the total cost of ownership.

  • Operating electric construction equipment may make contractors eligible for work they may have otherwise been unable to bid on, expanding their business opportunities and allowing them to win more work each year.

  • While the 580 EV will be sold at a higher initial price than diesel-powered backhoe loaders, it is estimated that average fleets will see a payback on that premium in roughly five years. All savings achieved after that will go to improve the bottom line and continue to lower the operation’s carbon footprint.

Each 580 EV comes standard with CASE SiteWatch telematics for additional monitoring and management of machine performance and utilization.

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