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ZAPI GROUP September 27, 2022 2 min read

Innovative Solutions for Electrified Application

Electrification continues gaining traction in the global energy conversation and innovation across the industry is racing to keep pace. The approach to electrification varies for each OEM. However, the excitement and drive to create in this field are consistent across the board. The innovation pipeline is well-loaded, so there is no shortage of equipment to highlight. Below are three standouts in recent news. 

Company: Skylift

Product: BMD 6,000
Photo credit: Skylift.com

In response to the upward electrification trend, Ohio-based company Skylift Inc. took on an innovation revamp for the classic Digger Derrick. The Skylift team designed a hybrid version of this frequently used construction vehicle called the MD6000-E. The hybrid digger still has a diesel engine, which is connected to a combined motor-generator, with a clutch in between. With this unique combination, the machine can alternate between energy sources based on the operating mode. While the clutch is open, the digger runs on battery power alone in electric mode. With the clutch closed, the digger can run on the diesel engine, allowing the batteries to charge for their next use cycle. This remarkable machine was awarded the 2021 Electric or Hybrid Application of the Year by Diesel Progress Magazine. The success of this machine makes a strong case for exploring hybrid innovation and combining electrification with traditional fuel sources.

Company: Mean Green Electric Mowers

Product: EVO Ride-On Mower
Photo credit: Mean Green Electric Mowers website

Scaling down in size, the following product is an electric take on a machine with a very long history: the lawnmower. Mean Green Electric Mowers specializes in commercial-grade, all-electric mowers.

As the “Tesla of lawnmowers,” the EVO model boasts eight hours of run time on a single charge. From an operator’s perspective, the mowers are quieter than their traditional diesel counterparts and easy to handle with their low center of gravity. With “electric” in its name, MGEM is all-in for electric innovation. Their impressive product line sends a clear message that electrification of traditional machines is not just possible, but marketable.

Company: Elforest

Product: Forest Forwarder
Photo credit: The El-forest Story (Malinovski - YouTube channel)

Swedish company El-Forest faced the challenge of designing equipment for unique terrain, the forest floor. The forwarder has six wheels, all independently controlled by separate electric motors. The granular wheel control reduces overall wheel spin and minimizes potential damage to the forest floor. In traditional all-diesel-powered forwarders, the scrubbing of topsoil is a common and concerning issue. The El-Forest forwarder eliminates this problem with an innovative wheel design. With diesel-only power, there is limited range to how power can be manipulated for each use case. The opportunities to expand efficiencies open up considerably with hybrid or solely electric solutions. The nuanced technology of six independently operating wheels would not be possible in a diesel-only environment. 

These are just three examples among thousands showcasing electric innovation. Across the industry, OEMs are investing in the adoption of electrification. As the affordability gap between electric energy and fuel sources narrows, the space for innovation in electrification becomes viable because of commercial marketability.