Zero emissions – JCB’s launches first ever electric Loadall

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With continual focus on improving the environment, JCB has just launched its first ever electric Loadall, adding to the growing list of the UK manufacturer’s zero emissions machines.

It’s been over 43 years since JCB first pioneered the concept of telescopic handlers, but now the new electric 525-60E has been unveiled marking another step in the history of this popular telehandler.

Designed to deliver the same performance as the conventional diesel-powered machine, the 525-60E offers a zero-emissions load handling solution for use in agriculture and commercial horticulture, as well as for groundscare, landscaping, construction and industrial applications.

The 525-60E uses two proven electric motors, one for the driveline and the second to power the hydraulic system. The 17kW traction motor drives through a permanent four-wheel drive dropbox, to proven JCB drive/steer axles.

The 22kW hydraulic system motor powers a fixed displacement gear pump, delivering a maximum 80 litres/min of flow. Flow is proportional to joystick position and the lift end is controlled by an electro-hydraulic valve block, with hydraulic regeneration on boom lower and retract.

The electric motors are 85% efficient, which compares well with the 45% efficiency of a diesel engine. Extensive analysis of customer duty cycles, through JCB’s LiveLink telematics system and on-site studies, tests and evaluation, has allowed JCB engineers to optimise the machine’s battery to meet customer requirements. The 96V Lithium-ion battery, is capable of providing full-shift operation.

The traction drive motor utilises regenerative braking, instead of a traditional braking system, topping up the battery in the process. The hydraulic system also regenerates flow whilst lowering the boom, reducing the power requirement and extending operating hours. The brake regen function automatically turns off when the battery is fully charged.

The machine has the same on-board charger as other JCB E-TECH products, capable of recharging the battery in eight hours using a standard 240V, 16A electrical supply. An optional JCB Universal charger can be used for a rapid top-up during breaks, in as little as 35 minutes.

JCB chief innovation officer Tim Burnhope said: “JCB has taken a pioneering lead in the move to electric propulsion in construction, agricultural and industrial machinery, having successfully introduced the 19C-1E mini excavator and the 30-19E Teletruk to the market. Adding “As world market leader for telescopic handlers, the launch of the JCB 525-60E Loadall takes equipment electrification further into general construction, industrial and agricultural markets, offering a zero emissions load handling solution with no compromise in performance or productivity. We are very excited about the prospects for this machine.”

The 525-60E has been designed to meet the current and future needs of customers in a variety of industry sectors, providing zero-emissions operation for working inside livestock buildings, crop grading and storage sheds, glasshouses and polytunnels, while also complementing the growing use of battery-powered professional groundscare machinery used by golf courses and specialist contractors.

In addition, the new telehandler can draw on low-cost renewable energy on farms and other rural enterprises that generate their own ‘green’ electricity.

A secondary benefit of electric operation is a significant reduction in noise levels, making the Loadall an attractive machine for operators behind the wheel, as well as for use in situations when working close to other people, such as in vegetable grading sheds and glasshouses.

The 525-60E delivers an in-cab noise level of just 66.7dB, while the external level is 92.2dB. A white noise reversing alarm is available as an option, to warn site workers of machine movement.

JCB has not compromised on operator comfort. The full-size ROPS/FOPS cab is well laid out and designed for fatigue-free operation, with easily located controls.

The fully glazed cab has a 2.2kW heater, heated front, rear and side screens for rapid defrosting and demisting and a heated suspension seat, ensuring the operator is comfortable regardless of outside temperature. The 525-60E also uses JCB’s well proven and patented Load Control System, ensuring optimum safe load handling.

External dimensions are unchanged from the diesel model and the 525-60E offers the same 3.7m outside turn radius. Maximum lift capacity is 2,500kg, with a 2,000kg maximum load at the full six metre lift height.

The machine has been designed to deliver similar cycle times as the diesel telescopic, with no loss of performance. It can be used with forks, a range of buckets and many other JCB Loadall attachments.

Key features of the new Loadall include:

  • Dual electric motors for drive and lift deliver increased efficiency
  • Brake regeneration boosts battery charge
  • Regenerative hydraulics increase efficiency
  • Full shift operation capability
  • Range of charging options, including on-board and rapid charging
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Chris McCullough is a freelance multi-media journalist based in Northern Ireland and specialises in all aspects of agriculture. He has spent the past 18 years travelling the globe hunting for the best stories in food, farming and politics. He has reported extensively from overseas, mostly throughout Europe but also from USA, Canada, India, Australia and African countries on various topics. He has won a number of awards for his photos and journalism and is always on the lookout for his next exclusive.

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