Hyundai Demonstrates Electric-Powered Compact Excavators

Hyundai exhibited two electric-powered compact excavators during CONEXPO 2020, one of which was developed in collaboration with Cummins Inc.

The R35E was developed in collaboration with Cummins Inc.
The R35E was developed in collaboration with Cummins Inc.

At both its indoor (N11601) and outdoor (F6914) exhibits at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020,  Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas demonstrated working prototype models of electric-powered compact excavators. The company also displayed a full range of wheel loaders and excavators, including new and enhanced models.

At its indoor exhibit, Hyundai showcased a prototype of the Hyundai R18E electric-powered compact excavator, which the company developed exclusively in-house. The outdoor exhibit features a prototype of the Hyundai R35E electric-powered compact excavator, designed in collaboration with Cummins Inc.

“Through our own resources, and in collaboration with a global industry leader like Cummins, Hyundai demonstrates a commitment to meet the growing demand for electric-powered compact excavators,” says Stan Park, Vice President of Distribution and Marketing, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas.

The R18E compact excavator is 60% more energy efficient.The R18E compact excavator is 60% more energy efficient.

Clean power, quiet performance

Electric-powered compact excavators offer a variety of benefits, including no carbon emissions and quiet operations.

The prototype Hyundai R18E is a two-ton-class machine designed for use both indoors and in urban settings. Offering power and productivity equivalent to the diesel-powered Hyundai R17Z-9A compact excavator, the R18E is 60% more energy efficient.

With an operating weight of 3,800 lbs. (1,725 kg), digging depth of 7 ft. 11 in. (2,405 mm), and dump height of 8 ft. 10 in. (2,680 mm), the R18E is powered by an induction-type motor, with a 1-hour current rating of 225 amps. Digital control is provided through a microcontroller. It can operate up to eight hours on a full charge and can be fully recharged in five hours. As an electric-powered machine, the R18E produces no carbon emissions, and operates at just 70.1 dB of sound.

The Hyundai-developed excavator uses a Li-ION Battery (LFP type), generating a power capacity of 19.6 hp (14.6 kW). Its battery charger is rated at 4 hp (3 kW), with a free voltage range of 100-230V AC. 

Cummins collaboration creates 3.5-ton-class compact excavator

“Through our collaboration with Cummins, we have produced an excavator in the highly popular 3.5-ton size class,” Park says. “We expect this machine to be well received not only in the rental market, but in municipalities focused on ‘green initiatives,’ in urban construction where machine noise can be an issue, and in applications that are exposed to fire hazards.” The Hyundai R35E is powered by Cummins BM4.4E flexible battery modules.The Hyundai R35E is powered by Cummins BM4.4E flexible battery modules.

Powered by Cummins BM4.4E flexible battery modules (5.9 hp, or 4.4 kW, each), the Hyundai R35E excavator prototype is designed to support a full work shift and charge in less than three hours. The machine eliminates all gaseous emissions and substantially reduces noise, making it ideal for use in urban and suburban construction.  

The excavator contains eight BM4.4E modules connected in a series configuration to provide a total energy of 47 hp (35 kW). Mounted near the base of the excavator, the Cummins-designed and -built battery modules use lithium-ion technology to achieve a higher energy density and proprietary control technology to maintain the battery state-of-charge for a longer zero emission range. The modular design also allows for scalability to other applications and duty cycles. 

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