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Images courtesy of National Grid
Images courtesy of National Grid

National Grid, NYSEG/RG&E to pioneer use of new electric backhoe loader

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Wed, Mar 11th 2020 12:25 pm

National Grid and AVANGRID companies, New York State Electric and Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric are the first utilities in the country to incorporate fully electric backhoe loaders in their fleets. CASE Construction Equipment built the all-electric backhoe loader after National Grid and AVANGRID requested zero-emission construction equipment to support their efforts to reduce emissions and create more sustainable communities.

National Grid and NYSEG/RG&E will use the new backhoe loader as part of their gas construction businesses and plan to move the equipment throughout their service areas for a year of field-testing.

CASE’s traditional 580 diesel-powered backhoe loader was used as the foundation for the project. The company worked with the utilities to electrify the product in conjunction with Moog, an international designer and manufacturer of advance motion control products, and Green Machine, a Buffalo-based company known for a variety of battery-powered products including mini-excavators, which National Grid has been using since 2016.

The power and performance of the zero-emission 580 EV is equivalent to other diesel-powered backhoes in the CASE product line, but with lower daily operating costs.

In addition to cost savings and using less diesel fuel throughout their construction fleets, other benefits of using the 580 EV include: 

Safety

The equipment creates a quiet work zone for employees and customers. The reduced noise leads to improved communication among workers. In addition, the worksite is healthier due to the elimination of fossil fuel exhaust.

Emissions reduction

Using battery-operated equipment helps National Grid reach its companywide emissions target of net zero by 2050, and further supports the company’s initiatives to increase the number of electric vehicles across its service area. Likewise, NYSEG and RG&E’s parent company – AVANGRID – has committed to aggressive emissions reductions and was the first utility in the nation to announce its pledge to achieve generation-related carbon neutrality by 2035, with plans to further electrify its company fleet to reduce emissions.

Embracing the Future

By purchasing and testing battery-powered construction equipment, National Grid and NYSEG/RG&E plan to lead the way for other energy companies as well as businesses in the construction industry by demonstrating and realizing benefits to the environment, customers, communities and employees.

“The backhoe loader is perfectly suited for electrification as the varied use cycles, from heavy to light work, provide an excellent opportunity to convert wasted diesel engine hours into zero consumption battery time, yet provide the operator with instantaneous torque response when needed,” said Eric Zieser, director, global compact equipment product line, CASE. “At low idle, a diesel engine has reduced torque and requires time for the engine to ramp up to meet the load demands. Electric motors, on the other hand, have instantaneous torque and peak torque available at every operating speed.”

“NYSEG and RG&E have led the effort to electrify the transportation sector, and the purchase of our new 580-EV backhoe loader reaffirms our commitment to creating a more sustainable future in the communities that we serve,” said Carl A. Taylor, President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E. “I’d like to thank CASE, Green Machine and Moog for listening to their customers’ feedback and working collaboratively to create a new and innovative product. This industry-leading effort will benefit the environment, our employees and our customers – we are proud to be a part of it.”

“National Grid has been at the forefront of incorporating battery-powered construction equipment into our business, and CASE’s new backhoe loader directly supports our corporate goal to eliminate companywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said John Bruckner, National Grid’s New York president. “Electrifying our vehicle fleet is among the many initiatives we’re implementing across our business to achieve this target. We are proud to be working with CASE and so many other partners to deliver the clean energy future.”

Images courtesy of National Grid

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