Press Release: Electric excavator with Caterpillar machinery runs on ecovolta batteries

CO2-free and low-noise operation

Brunnen/Basel, 14.01.2020 - New electrically powered mini-excavator enables pollutant-free and noise-reduced work in locations with high exhaust and noise emission requirements. Standardised and certificate-compliant battery packs from ecovolta save time for the converter Avesco and costs for the users.

Standardised lithium-ion traction batteries now in Caterpillar-based mini-excavators

The Swiss battery system manufacturer has been commissioned by Avesco AG to equip a vehicle based on the Cat 301.7 model with electric traction and will supply its battery systems for series production. The mini-excavator, which enables CO2-free and low-noise work in inner cities and other locations with restrictive pollutant and noise emission limits, will be presented to the public at the Swissbau trade fair in Basel from 14 to 18 January 2020. The drive batteries from ecovolta are already used in trucks, vans, forklifts and boats.

For users, the electric mini-excavator means fewer restrictions in construction work. They also benefit from lower operating costs. According to Avesco, these are about one third compared to machines with combustion engines. One reason for this is that electricity is cheaper per operating hour than diesel. In addition, the e-excavator requires very little maintenance. The maintenance-intensive parts such as the V-belt and engine oil system are unnecessary and the wear in the electric drive is minimal.

Up to 4 hours of stand-alone use and recharging while in operation possible

The base model for the new construction machine is a mini excavator from the latest Caterpillar model series, the Cat® 301.7. The dimensions, furnishings and other specifications correspond with those of the original diesel-driven vehicle. ecovolta’s 96-volt evoTractionBattery has been chosen as the energy-storing component. With its capacity, the vehicle can be operated autonomously for up to 3 or 4 hours, depending on its function.

If the stored energy starts to run low at the job site, the batteries can be plugged in via a 400- or 230-volt line and charged while still in operation, allowing the machine operator to continue their work.

Mini excavator contributes to emission-free construction site

“The electric mini excavator is particularly suited to work in cities with high levels of exhaust and noise pollution, but it is just as good for construction work in residential areas and near hospitals as well as night-time work,” says Pirmin Reichmuth, Managing Director of ecovolta.

Converting excavators is a step in towards establishing emission-free construction sites, an important industry goal. Right now, mini excavators are the main focus of this electrification transition. Because of their simple design and their relatively low energy requirements, switching out their diesel motors for an electric drive is notably easier than in the case of larger vehicles. What’s more, manufacturers are using this as an opportunity to test out the reception of electric construction equipment in general. The standardised and certificate-compliant overall solution ecovolta’s will ease and accelerate the conversion of construction equipment to electric drives. The batteries do not need to be developed separately and conformity with certifications is already ensured. This saves time and cuts costs in the development phase and allows the manufacturer to introduce its electric excavator to the market more quickly and cost-effectively.

The mini excavator will be available to order from spring 2020. After their use in construction equipment, the battery packs can be recycled and used in storage systems for renewably sourced energy.

About ecovolta

ecovolta is a Swiss manufacturer of battery systems for electric vehicles and machines. Battery and drive solutions are developed and tested in the company's own research and development department. The range of services also includes contract development and system integration of battery systems.

ecovolta was founded in 2018 as a division of the technology company ecocoach AG and has its head­quarters in Brunnen, where series production is also located.


Benjamin Friedrich
Chief Operation Officer (COO)

Tel.: +41 41 811 41 41


About Avesco AG

Avesco AG is active in the area of industrial products and is a leader on the Swiss market for construction equipment with a central focus on customer service. As an innovative company committed to quality, Avesco AG works with commercial products which are undeniably among the best on the global market. The family-owned company is rich in tradition, boasting a history of over 145 years in operation, but it is continuously undergoing development and experiencing new breakthroughs.

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