Customer interest in more-productive and sustainably focused construction equipment is certainly on the rise. To help address the growing market for alternatively powered machines, John Deere showcased new E-Drive (hybrid-electric) and E-Power (battery-electric) machines at Conexpo 2023.
“As a leader in the construction industry, John Deere is committed to helping decrease contributions to climate change and is uniquely positioned to deliver both economic and sustainable value to its customers through advanced technology and solutions,” said Ryan Campbell, president, Worldwide Construction & Forestry and Power Systems. By 2026, John Deere aims to offer its customers a variety of electric construction equipment solutions, including more than 20 electric and hybrid models that will help reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry, he said.
E-Drive machines feature an electrified drivetrain with a combustion engine as the primary power source. The product line enables better fuel economy, improved powertrain component life and stronger pushing power on the job versus traditional models, said the company. Available versions include the 644 X-Tier and 944 X-Tier wheel loaders and the 850 X-Tier dozer, which features a less-complex drivetrain that powers each track with an electric motor to maintain the maneuverability and control of a traditional hydrostatic John Deere dozer. Lastly, the 744 X-Tier E-Drive wheel loader, featuring an electric variable transmission, combines improved performance with increased fuel efficiency.
John Deere will also offer E-Power machines that rely on battery systems from Kreisel Electric. These include the 310 X-Tier backhoe, 244 X-Tier compact wheel loader and 145 X-Tier excavator, which reportedly provide lower daily operating costs, lower jobsite noise, and zero tailpipe emissions.
The company first began testing the 310 X-Tier E-Power electric backhoe in 2021, and the machine will enter the next phase of development in 2023 based on customer feedback. Making its debut at Conexpo 2023, the 244 X-Tier compact wheel loader is suited for a variety of material handling applications.
The 145 X-Tier E-Power mid-size excavator concept, previously showcased at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, was also on display at Conexpo. While no specs have been announced for the 145 X-Tier, the similar-size conventional 135 P-Tier excavator has a 101 hp diesel engine powering open-center, pilot-operated hydraulics. Two variable-displacement axial-piston main pumps supply 28 gpm × 2 flow; and a pilot gear pump supplies 8.7 gpm. Implement circuits are rated to 4,975 psi and travel hydraulics to 5,047 psi. An available power boost function raises pressure when needed to 5,265 psi.
John Deere is also developing electrification infrastructure solutions to address the energy replenishment challenges faced by battery electric vehicles in off-road production environments. A John Deere electrification ecosystem will address needs for charging, data and connectivity, machine support, and financial services.
The charging ecosystem will include a range of solutions for overnight and fast charging. All John Deere machines and charging stations will use common automotive-style charging connections, helping to simplify the recharge process for electric equipment. In addition, the company is developing new features, such as an Operations Center specific to battery-electric equipment to help customers monitor usage remotely and manage work while charging their equipment with confidence and ease.
“As we continue to introduce battery-electric and electric-hybrid solutions to the market, we aren’t just designing a new way to fuel your fleet. We’re also focusing on building an electric infrastructure through innovative and forward-thinking technology,” said Campbell. “That means expanding our efforts to provide customers with optimal dealer support, jobsite data and charging solutions aimed to increase the electric presence in the construction space around the world.”
John Deere Construction