Doosan Bobcat launches electric compact loader
By Murray Pollok05 January 2022
Doosan Bobcat unveiled an all-electric Bobcat T7X compact track loader at this week’s CES technology show in Las Vegas and Sunbelt Rentals announced it would make a “significant investment” in the machine.
The manufacturer said the T7X was the first loader of its kind to be fully electric, offering benefits of eliminating hydraulic systems, emissions and vibrations and providing cleaner, quieter machines.
The loader uses a 62 kW lithium-ion battery from technology partner Green Machine Equipment, Inc. and the all-electric platform enables instantaneous power and peak torque available at every operating speed.
Doosan Bobcat said it would operate continuously for four hours on a single charge, or intermittently for a full day.
“This machine is a technological feat for Bobcat and for the entire industry,” said Joel Honeyman, vice president of global innovation at Doosan Bobcat.
“We challenged the status quo to deliver a connected, all-electric machine designed for power and performance that previously was not possible.”
At the launch, Doosan Bobcat announced a partnership with Sunbelt Rentals in the US, the second largest equipment rental company in the world, under which it has committed to a significant investment in a large fleet of the T7X track loaders and Bobcat electric compact excavators in North America. These will be co-branded and made available in 2022 and beyond.
Brendan Horgan, CEO of Sunbelt Rentals, said; “Our partnership and investment with Bobcat with this T7X and, down the road, investments in electric excavators alike, is a very important part of [the Sunbelt 3.0 strategy] and one we think represents more than just ESG and those actionable components to move all that forward.”
He added; “Sunbelt Rentals is leading the implementation of electrified on-road and off-road products to unlock the ESG structural benefits of rental. We look forward to receiving shipments of these machines to put them in our customers hands.”
Speaking about the partnership, Scott Park, president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat, said, “We know it’s not enough just to innovate and manufacture. We need to have a committed, leading partner, focused on sustainability that can bring this innovation to the marketplace, to transform the way work is done.”
Design of the loader
The hydraulic components used on traditional machines have been replaced with an electrical drive system consisting of electric cylinders and drive motors, which almost eliminates fluids. The T7X uses only one quart of eco-friendly coolant compared to 57 gallons of fluid in its diesel/hydraulic equivalent model.
To accompany the T7X, Bobcat will also introduce all-electric attachments to empower the machine for specific tasks. These will include an electrically-powered auger to dig holes, an angle broom to sweep clean and a grapple to grab and hold materials.
Scott Park said Doosan Bobcat was at the forefront of innovation and was proud to debut the T7X “to help customers maximize both sustainability and productivity. Our focus remains on providing solutions and products that empower people to accomplish more and build a better world.”
Doosan Bobcat collaborated with Moog Inc., a developer of motion control components and systems, to speed up the pace of research and development for electronic control capabilities of the T7X.
The loader has connectivity via two-way telematics. The platform provides data about the performance of the machine, along with operator-focused data to change machine preferences and tune the performance to certain jobs. This includes variable drive speed at full torque and other features not possible with a diesel hydraulic machine.
“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.”
Doosan Bobcat is showcasing the T7X loader, and its electric excavator, at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, taking place on 2 to 7 January. The show is closing a day early as an additional Covid-related safety measure.