Battery Power is Hot at WOC

04/14/2020

Battery-powered tools were one of the hottest trends during World of Concrete 2020, from Hilti’s new battery-powered concrete breaker to the equipment showcased at the Zero-Emission Zone, led by Wacker Neuson and featuring Green Machine and Ecoquipment, which distributes the Ecovolve Electric Dump Buggies (click here for more on these companies). We caught up with Wacker Neuson’s Luke Sevcik after the show to see how things went.

“It was a good crowd,” he says. “We had a staff of six and it was very busy for most of the show. We met people from all over the world: the U.S., Canada, Netherlands, South America, Australia, Japan, and Kuwait. We had a demo mat for our battery-powered rammers and a plate course and visitors could run our new battery-powered concrete vibrator, although we didn’t have actual fresh concrete in the booth.”

“The entire zero-emission line from Wacker Neuson was featured with the introduction of the ACBe back pack vibrator,” says Sevcik. “The ACBe is not only unique as a battery-operated backpack, but as a high cycle, high frequency motor-in-head internal vibrator. Gas models do not offer both high cycle and high frequency which is in part due to our innovative frequency inverter as part of the backpack design. The additional products we were showing included our battery-powered rammers that have been on the market for about three years and two sizes of single direction plates compactors that have been on the market for about two years.”

Sevcik noted that since these products are relatively new to concrete construction, there were a lot of questions. “Mostly people wanted to know about run time, performance, and cost. Wacker Neuson designed the entire line around one universal battery, the BP1000, that knows what product it is in. These function for any jobsite application and typical eight-hour work day and provide the same (if not better) performance as any comparable gasoline-powered equipment.”

“Many of the booth visitors said that this is the way the industry is going,” Sevcik explained. “They know they will need to compete so they would consider the battery-powered products to give them an advantage over their competition.”

In terms of bigger equipment, everyone knows about the trend towards electric-powered automobiles from Prius to Tesla, but can that technology transfer into large construction equipment? Even a year ago that seemed unlikely to happen soon but major developments in batteries and control systems are now pushing electric power into even large construction equipment. For some insight into these developments, check out this video from For Construction Pros.