Bobcat makes electric history - unveils all-electric compact tracked loader at CES 2022
4 Jan 2022
Fully eliminating all hydraulics and components, and capable of providing 62kW of power from its lithium-ion batteries for a full day’s work, new Bobcat T7X wins two CES Innovation Awards and finds first major rental fleet customer
Doosan Bobcat is showcasing its all-new, all-electric Bobcat T7X compact tracked loader at CES 2022, the world’s biggest technology event, taking place in Las Vegas in the USA. The new path-breaking machine has already found its first customer – US-based Sunbelt Rentals – who will induct a large fleet of T7X machines into its fleet post-show.
The compact equipment specialist, which is also unveiling its new electric excavator at the show, had already previewed an all-electric compact track loader at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 with the prototype T76e, and is now presenting its first production version with the T7X almost two years later.
The production T7X features battery power with electric actuation and propulsion that completely eliminates the traditional hydraulic system and components. The result is zero emissions, reduced sound levels, limited vibrations and lower daily operating costs, said Bobcat.
The manufacturer revealed that the T7X is powered by a 62kW lithium-ion battery from technology partner Green Machine Equipment and, while applications can vary, each charge can support common daily work operations, and the use of intelligent work modes enables up to four hours of continuous operation and a full day of operation during intermittent use. The power management system is programmed to sense when loads are increasing and automatically back off power when not needed to reduce total energy use and extend the machine’s runtime.
An electrical drive system consisting of electric cylinders and electric drive motors completely replaces the traditional hydraulic work group, meaning the T7X requires virtually no fluids. Only 0.94 litre of eco-friendly coolant is required compared to 215 litres of fluid in the diesel/hydraulic equivalent model.
The all-electric platform provides instantaneous power and peak torque at every operating speed, eliminating the wait associated with a standard hydraulic system to build up power. As with other Bobcat models, the T7X features two-way telematics communication. The platform provides integral data about the performance of the machine, along with operator-focused data to change machine preferences, tune the performance to certain job situations and upgrade product features. This includes variable drive speed at full torque and other features not possible with a diesel hydraulic machine.
To accompany the T7X, Bobcat said it will also introduce all-electric attachments. The first to be developed are an electrically powered auger, an angle broom and a grapple.
Scott Park, president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat, explained: “Doosan Bobcat is at the forefront of innovation, and we are proud to debut the all-electric technology of the T7X to help customers maximise both sustainability and productivity. Our focus remains on providing solutions and products that empower people to accomplish more and build a better world.”
To speed the pace of research and development for electronic control capabilities of the T7X, Doosan Bobcat collaborated with Moog Inc., a global developer of motion control components and systems for industries ranging from aerospace and defense to construction.
John Scannell, chairman and CEO of Moog, added: “Like Doosan Bobcat, we believe that electrification, automation and connectivity go hand-in-hand. We are proud to collaborate with Doosan Bobcat and bring our comprehensive set of electrification capabilities, including hardware and intelligent software, to the world’s first all-electric loader. The T7X is an exciting step forward for the construction industry.”
Earlier, the CES organisers recognised the importance of the T7X by awarding it the 2022 CES Innovation Awards in two categories - Vehicle Intelligence & Transportation and Smart Cities. The awards recognise recipients in various consumer technology product categories and distinguishes the highest rated in each. Products are reviewed and scored by a panel of designers, engineers and members of the tech media based on design, functionality, consumer appeal, engineering and their positive impact on the world.
Doosan Bobcat had earlier announced a strategic partnership with South Carolina-based Sunbelt Rentals, one of the largest rental equipment companies in North America. Through the partnership, Sunbelt Rentals committed to a significant investment in a large fleet of Bobcat T7X all-electric compact track loaders and electric compact excavators, which will be co-branded and made available in 2022 and beyond.
"By making an investment in this first-of-its-kind, all-electric technology, we support our ESG objectives of empowering our customers and communities with the availability of alternative rental solutions that reduce emissions and noise," said Brendan Horgan, Sunbelt Rentals CEO.