Tadano unveiled its long trialled battery electric Rough Terrain crane concept at Conexpo last week.
The crane on display was the 100 ton/90 tonne GR-1000XL EVolt which will initially be offered in North America. The superstructure is essentially the same as on the standard GR-1000XL with a five section 46 metre main boom topped by a 10.1 to 17.7 metre bi-fold swingaway extension for a maximum tip height of 66.6 metres with up to 45 degrees of offset.
Where the new EVolt differs is the chassis and the driveline, with a lithium ion battery pack that is said to be sufficient for around a typical nine hour work day. It can be recharged in seven hours with the standard onboard system, or in two hours with a Tesla fast charger. The crane can also be operated while plugged in, as long as an AC outlet is available on site. A selection switch allows for 30, 50, 75 or 100 Amp inputs.
The battery pack powers an electric motor which drives the hydraulic pumps largely for the superstructure, while two electric motors are employed for the drive function, one for the front and one for the rear axle. This format was chosen to simplify the drivetrain and reduce the number of shafts required, while creating more space within the chassis. The crane can travel an average of 12.5 miles on a single charge, although it is equipped with regenerative breaking so could manage a greater distance under some circumstances. Top speed is 11 mph (18kph), the same as the diesel model.
The Evolt performance is said to be exactly the same as the standard diesel model. While emissions are important the company said that one of the growing driving forces for such a machine is the noise. The Evolt is almost silent, with most of the noise coming from the hydraulics.
The unit on display was still a prototype, but the decision to use the same superstructure with hydraulic slew and hoists, has enabled a more rapid development time, while reducing the amount of new content. The next step will be to eliminate all hydraulic motors, leaving the pump purely for the hydraulic cylinders.
Finally, why North America first? Simply due to the fact that it is by far and away the largest market for Rough Terrain cranes, therefore the best place to start. The crane will be available for delivery during 2024. However, before then the company will introduce a battery electric model in Japan.
Tadano is also launching a smaller version of the Evolt in Japan - the 25 tonne GR-250N Evolt Rough Terrain/city type crane - which is scheduled for later this year. The crane will again be the same as the diesel version but with electric power.
The GR-250N Evolt can reach a top speed of 30.5 mph (49kph), or work a typical 11 hour shift or travel 25 miles (40km) and still have enough energy for a typical five hour shift. The integrated regenerative braking system also helps boost the long travel and operating times as it recharges the crane’s battery during braking.
As with the American model a rapid recharge is possible, going from empty to fully charged in two and a half hours with the Tesla/CHAdeMO rapid charge system, or eight hours on a standard three phase outlet.
Additional Evolt models are apparently in the pipeline.