New York Utilities Take Delivery of Construction Industry’s First Electric Backhoe-loaders

Nearly a year after its debut, CASE Construction Equipment announces the delivery and implementation of two electric-powered backhoes by utilities in the state of New York.

National Grid utilizing its CASE 580 EV backhoe-loader.
National Grid utilizing its CASE 580 EV backhoe-loader.

At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, CASE Construction Equipment premiered “Project Zeus”, the construction industry’s first fully electric backhoe-loader. Today, the company is announcing the delivery and implementation of two production models by utilities in the state of New York. New York State Gas & Electric (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E), AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries, plan to debut their first electric backhoe this week at a special event in New York, while National Grid took delivery of its first electric backhoe earlier this year.

Officially designated the 580 EV (Electric Vehicle), the backhoes are the result of a collaboration between CASE and New York-based companies Green Machine Equipment, Inc. and Moog Inc. The zero-emissions machines are powered by Green Machine’s proprietary 480-volt, 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion WhisperDrive battery pack that can be charged by any 220-volt connection and is capable of supporting most common eight-hour workdays. The battery separately powers the drivetrain and hydraulic motors, resulting in hydraulic breakout forces equal to diesel-powered models and improved performance during simultaneous loader and drivetrain operation.

Since announcing the development of the electric backhoe in March 2020, CASE has been working with each utility to refine the machines prior to final delivery and field deployment. Monroe Tractor in New York will work with each utility and the integration partners to support the equipment in the field.

National Grid crews work with the CASE 580 EV backhoe-loader.National Grid crews work with the CASE 580 EV backhoe-loader.During its unveiling, CASE cited a number of economic benefits of the electric-powered models, including as much as 90% lower annual service and maintenance costs compared to diesel when taking into account the reduction/elimination of diesel fuel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid, regular preventive maintenance and long-term engine upkeep/maintenance (and associated labor rates and time savings). Such cost benefits make the machines “particularly well suited for utilities, utility contractors and government and public works operations, all of which tend to have initiatives aimed at lowering emissions, reducing noise in public areas and finding new ways to work within tight budgets.”

But according to NYSEG and RG&E President and CEO Carl Taylor, the deployment of electric construction equipment into the communities they serve is driven by more by sustainability and the desire to be responsible neighbors.

“At NYSEG and RG&E, the driving force behind all of our decisions is to put our customers first and care for the communities we serve,” says Taylor. “As an energy provider, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and build a more sustainable future for our communities. The addition of this first-of-its-kind backhoe into our fleet will help us meet sustainability goals and benefit the communities we serve by providing a cleaner work environment in the form of emissions and noise reduction. It’s equipment like this that will drive our fleets, businesses and communities into the future.”   

“National Grid and NYSEG and RG&E are at the forefront of living the clean energy promise in their communities, and their use of electrically powered equipment like the CASE 580 EV shows that fleets can be clean while also delivering where it counts in the field,” says Leandro Lecheta, head of construction - North America, CASE Construction Equipment. “We share that commitment to develop and stand behind equipment that meets sustainability and productivity goals, while also being good for the communities we work in together.”