On "Media Monday" at CONEXPO 2023, LeeBoy made a big move. As a company with a long track record for reliable machines and excellent performance within the commercial asphalt market, LeeBoy introduced their very first prototype electric paver -- the 8520C E-Paver. It was created in a collaboration with General Motors (GM) and Powertrain Control Systems (PCS).
The new electric machine takes direct aim at the current high demands of the heavy-commercial paving market, combined with the kind of performance that contractors have come to rely on from LeeBoy, the company says it has the ability to meet the future needs of the asphalt industry.
“We know that the industry is making a move towards electric machines,” Chris Broome, Senior Product Manager at LeeBoy said. “What we wanted to do with the E-Paver is take an automotive grade electric drive system and match it with established LeeBoy components. The hydraulic systems on the E-Paver are a mirror image of the 8520C that operators are used to, we replaced the diesel engine and LeeBoy integrated a compatible electric drive system.”
What's really exciting about this announcement is the potential it reveals for the full electrification of the entire commercial asphalt paving industry. The partnership with GM meant access to the wide range of EV components and propulsion technology they've been developing for decades, along with the engineering support from PCS, LeeBoy was able to bring all the elements together to show what is possible.
The consumer market has shown some hesitancy, if not downright resistance, to some of the early electrification opportunities. However, the promise of the 8520C E-Paver could really change even those with the most ardent skepticism. If an electric paver can deliver all that the traditionally fueled pavers can, including things like LeeBoy's Legend HD screed technology, but it includes the additional benefits of reduced noise levels and emissions, why wouldn't someone want to make the switch?
One answer to that question is usually contractor concerns about daily battery life and recharability. LeeBoy has heard from consumers, and part of the answer is seeing a charge the same way we see diesel. They are both fuel, and while diesel is more familiar to the industry, it has drawbacks of its own that electrically fueled vehicles might even improve upon.
“On the electric paver, contractors won’t be wasting fuel while idling,” Broome said. “Any time you put the machine in neutral, the paver powers down so you're not wasting energy waiting on trucks.”
GM’s electric drive system not only helps contractors meet their sustainability goals, but can also improve operating efficiency and comfort.
“The controls feature our “LeeBoy Family Feel” and style,” Broome said. “They are standard to our electric over hydraulic controls so there won’t be a learning curve to jump in from an 8520 to this electric machine.” LeeBoy was able to maintain some of the familiar control style utilizing the controls development expertise of Engine Power Source (EPS).
Visit LeeBoy in the Central Hall at CONEXPO 2023, Booth C31731, to learn more.
Electric 8520C Asphalt Paver At A Glance:
- 150 KW Max Electric Drive Motor
- 48 KWh Battery Pack
- 120VAC or 240VAC Onboard Charger; Rapid Charging Available
- Legend HD Screed Variable up to 15’
- LeeBoy Proven Hydraulic System
- 9 Ton Hopper
- 12” Diameter Quick Change Auger Assemblies
- Heavy Duty Conveyor Chains and Flight Bars
- Operator Friendly Toggle Switch Controls