JLG has developed a retrofit kit to convert its diesel powered 66ft 660SJ telescopic booms to battery electric power.
The new ‘Conversion Kit’ allows customers who own diesel powered JLG 660SJ to replace the engine with a lead acid or lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors that drive the hydraulic pumps. The pack is pitched as a way to extend the working life of existing boom lifts, as demand for emission free models increases.
The lead acid conversion kits are available now, with the lithium due in the spring. They are also covered by warranty programme. We are waiting to receive more details on the kit and will update when we do.
The company said: “Converting diesel powered machines to electric battery power contributes to an increased residual value and lower total cost of ownership. Utilisation and rental rates could be improved as the converted equipment can be used on a wider variety of projects, particularly those requiring low emissions and noise levels, such as residential urban areas. It also extends the lifetime of equipment by making it compliant with more stringent regulations, which are expected to meet the EU’s 2030 deadline for 50 percent reduced emissions."
JLG’s European director of engineering, Barrie Lindsay, added: “While there is much to be gained from the conversion process, there are considerable losses, too. The CO2 emissions of a rental fleet will be reduced dramatically – with an estimated reduction of 200kg over five years, per machine. Running costs can be cut by up to 80 percent due to decreased fuel consumption. Maintenance costs are also significantly lower – as there are fewer consumable parts requiring regular replacement with electric batteries compared with diesel engines.”
The company has produced two videos to illustrate its rationale, the second is a little 'cheesy', but they both get the message across.
JLG does not currently offer a battery powered version of its classic 60/66ft telescopic boom lifts, so this would seem to be a route towards creating such a beast from units currently in the fleet.
So far, we have not seen the technical detail behind this kit, but it looks like a good idea, that might also help boost residual values for the diesel powered machines, if buyers think that they can convert them at a later date.