Bobcat unveils world’s first all-electric compact track loader
By Jenny LescohierJanuary 04, 2022
The move came in tandem with an announcement from Sunbelt Rentals that it has pledged a commitment to putting the new technology in the hands of its customers across North America this year.
The new Bobcat T7X was unveiled at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, widely considered to be the world’s most influential technology event.
The T7X is the first machine of its kind to be fully electric, offering the full benefits of eliminating hydraulic systems, components, emissions and vibrations – all while providing cleaner, quieter operation, according to the company.
“The machine is fully battery powered, and is designed to outperform its diesel counterparts,” said Joel Honeyman, vice president of global innovation at Doosan Bobcat.
“The machine is more intelligent and productive with electric propulsion. It’s quiet, with high-performance torque,” he continued. “And unlike it’s diesel counterparts, this machine only consumes energy when it’s at work. It is the solution that the job site, the industry and our planet need today and for tomorrow.”
Scott Park, president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat Inc., said Doosan Bobcat is proud to debut the T7X to help customers maximize both sustainability and productivity, stating, “Our focus remains on providing solutions and products that empower people to accomplish more and build a better world.”
Sunbelt Rentals makes commitment to Bobcat electric equipment
During the company’s CES Media Days news conference, Doosan Bobcat announced a strategic partnership with South Carolina-based Sunbelt Rentals, a leading rental equipment company with more than 1,025 locations. Through this partnership, Sunbelt Rentals committed to a significant investment in a large fleet of Bobcat T7X all-electric compact track loaders and electric compact excavators in North America, which will be co-branded and made available in 2022 and beyond.
Sunbelt Rentals will be the first national equipment rental company to adopt Bobcat’s battery-electric technology and make it available to customers, supporting the environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus for both companies.
“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, CEO of Sunbelt Rentals. “We’re thrilled to be part of bringing to market the world’s first-ever all-electric, zero-emissions machine, making a reliable alternative to fossil fuel-burning machines available to our customers.”
Benefits of electrical drive system
The traditional hydraulic work group has been completely replaced with an electrical drive system consisting of electric cylinders and electric drive motors, which means virtually no fluids. The new, all-electric Bobcat T7X uses only one quart of eco-friendly coolant compared to 57 gallons of fluid in its diesel/hydraulic equivalent model.
The all-electric platform enables instantaneous power and peak torque available at every operating speed. The operator no longer must wait for the standard hydraulic system to build up power.
The T7X operates with zero emissions and reduced noise and vibration generated by the machine. It works quietly and efficiently in noise-sensitive areas and indoors, which significantly lowers sound levels and improves the working environment. It can also significantly lower daily operating costs, when considering the reduction in annual maintenance costs and elimination of diesel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid and hydraulic parts.
At the heart of the T7X is a powerful 62KW lithium-ion battery from technology partner Green Machine Equipment Inc. While applications vary, each charge can support common daily work operations and the use of intelligent work modes for up to four hours of continuous operation time and a full day of operation during intermittent use.
The intelligence of the power management system is programmed to sense when loads are increasing, automatically backing off power when not needed to preserve the total energy use and extend the machine’s runtime.
While the new T7X is eco-designed, it is also a smart machine featuring the software connectivity Bobcat equipment is known for via two-way telematics communications, the company said.
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.
Bobcat partners with Moog Inc. to develop T7X CTL
Doosan Bobcat collaborated with Moog Inc., a worldwide developer of motion control components and systems for industries ranging from aerospace and defense to construction, to speed up the pace of research and development for electronic control capabilities of the T7X.
“Like Doosan Bobcat, we believe that electrification, automation and connectivity go hand-in-hand,” said Moog Inc. Chairman and CEO John Scannell. “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.”
To accompany the T7X, Bobcat will also introduce the world’s first all-electric attachments to empower the machine for specific tasks. The first to be developed include an electrically powered auger to dig holes, an angle broom to sweep clean and a grapple to grab and hold materials.