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Company launches new battery system that could make electrifying changes to construction industry: 'We are setting the standard'

It promises a pollution solution that will improve productivity on the job site.

It promises a pollution solution that will improve productivity on the job site.

Photo Credit: iStock

A company from Buffalo has successfully electrified a Caterpillar. 

That heavy excavator, noted in an article from Electrek, is only the beginning of ZQuip's mission to convert powerful construction equipment into electric vehicles with modular, interchangeable power packs. The process is billed as being cheaper than buying new machines.  

If ZQuip, a subsidiary of Moog Construction, can start converting more diesel burners to EVs, the company could help to reduce the nitrogen oxides and particulate pollution entering our air when the fossil fuel is burned. The Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center notes that heavy equipment is a significant producer of those types of harmful air pollutants. 

ZQuip promises a pollution solution that will improve productivity on the job site, as well. That's because the interchangeable modular design allows construction crews to move batteries to the machine that needs the juice. 

"The customer can decide the appropriate battery size for the machine and job being done that day," Chris LaFleur, managing director of ZQuip, said in a company video clip

The tech provides battery-mount platforms where ZQuip power packs are attached. A small loader might need only one pack, while a larger excavator will use up to four for the job. The video animation shows one module in the back of a pickup truck, presumably ready to relieve a spent battery. 

The onboard setup on a piece of equipment includes an electric motor, a controller unit that allows for the system to be monitored by an app, and a thermal kit that measures temperature and helps to provide for fast charging, all per a company diagram. 

ZQuip claims the conversion is a DIY job, with their support. "No need to send your equipment to us," the company notes.  

"We convert regardless of size, type, or manufacturer and will enable a level of serviceability, runtime, and value that is far greater than current battery solutions," LaFleur said in the Electrek story. 

In the clip, he added that battery modules can be "easily" switched in about five minutes, though the animation shows the power packs levitating from one machine to another. Crews likely need to use some of the equipment on-site to help move the large packs around. 

This isn't the only effort underway to transform our construction vehicles into a cleaner power source. Florida-based Air Burners' tech cleanly incinerates logs and biowaste to create electricity for heavy equipment at remote job sites. The company is even working with Volvo on the project.  

At ZQuip, the team notes that their system also reduces noise and vibrations on-site, making for a friendlier neighbor during construction in urban areas. 

"We are setting the standard for how a zero-emission site should work," LaFleur said in the clip.

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