Chinese crane manufacturer XCMG unveiled a 60 tonne hybrid All Terrain crane at Bauma based on the company’s existing XCA60 E. The hybrid XCA60 EV model was designed specifically for the European market with the help of Dutch crane customers and will soon be available for sale.
The crane’s hydraulic system is powered by a massive 170kW electrical motor, with three potential operating modes: the diesel engine which is equipped with a generator, or the crane can be connected to a 32 or 64 amp AC power outlet for continuous emission free operation with performance matching or exceeding the diesel, and finally the crane can also operate electrically without plugging in, thanks to its built-in 115kWh high capacity lithium ion battery pack, which is apparently good for up to four hours of crane operation. The batteries can also be recharged from the AC outlet or the diesel engine, with excess power topping up the battery pack. This includes recharging while travelling.
The three axle carrier has all wheel steer as standard along with front and rear axle drive, although all wheel drive is available. The crane has an independent suspension system, which looks quite similar to that used on the Grove GMKs. The ‘Dual-Power’ drive concept is a type of hybrid system, which combines power from both the diesel and the electric motor, for both road and off road travel, with the electrical motor intervening intelligently to maximise the energy utilisation. According to XCMG the combination provides up to 400kW of power and has been proven to reduce fuel consumption by around 40 percent. In addition to everything else the crane is equipped with regenerative braking and coasting allowing it to generate electricity to top up the batteries.
We have yet to see the full specification and load charts, but it has a 48 metre six section pinned main boom, topped by a 9.2 to 16 metre bi-fold offsetable swingaway extension that takes the maximum tip height to around 66 metres. Standard features include wireless remote controls for outrigger set up, a 10.4 inch in cab touch screen and hoist cameras. The overall length for road travel is 11.96 metres, with an overall width of 2.55 metres and an overall height of 3.79 metres.
The company said: “Thinking on the needs of the European market and focusing on the growing demands for the use of renewable resources and mainly on the reduction of emissions, which we believe is a trend in large European cities. This crane was developed with the support from companies in the Netherlands, who gave us many important inputs in the design phase."
The video below highlights some of the features
Expect to see this crane, or a four axle model on the XCMG stand at Vertikal Days next May, which coincides with the first availability dates.
This looks like a tidy crane, with a decent boom and extension and the ability to work indoors and out, as well as in ultra-low emission zones. While it might not be a brand that most companies will be keen to go for, the benefits that it offers could certainly swing a few buyers towards it, with specific customers in mind, if the first cranes then work out, it could well take off.
Other manufacturers are also working on hybrid All Terrains, but the XCMG offering - if truly ready - will almost certainly find a good few buyers willing to give it a shot, then it will be all down to how reliable it turns out to be in service and how operators like it and get on with it. What Bauma did clearly demonstrate is that this is the dawning of the age of the hybrid road crane, whereas barely a year or so ago the idea seemed to be just a ‘pipe dream’ for the future. How quickly things change.