Published on March 29th, 2020 | by Jo Borrás0
CASE 580 EV | Project Zeus Promises Quieter Job Sites
March 29th, 2020 by Jo Borrás
Construction is a part of life in major cities — one that’s often loud, hot, and stinking of diesel exhaust. Thanks to the all-new, all-electric CASE 580 EV electric excavator, though, that noise, heat, and smell may not be sticking around for long!
CASE is calling its new machine “Project Zeus,” and it’s the industry’s first electric backhoe loader. And, according to CASE, it offers levels of power and performance that are equivalent to similarly sized, diesel-engined backhoes in the market while producing zero “tailpipe” emissions. Even better: it does all that at a fraction of the operating costs of the ICE options.
And, when we say “a fraction,” we mean a fraction! How does 1/10th sound? CASE claims it’s possible. “While every application will be different based on its workload,” the press release reads, “it is estimated that the 580 EV could save fleets as much as 90 percent in annual vehicle service and maintenance costs when taking into account the reduction/elimination of diesel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid, regular preventive maintenance and long-term engine upkeep/maintenance (and the associated labor rates and time savings).”
If that’s even halfway true, that’s going to really help get the municipalities and construction companies on board with the electric future. Assuming it works, that is, and that’s what this video, provided by CASE, is trying to show.
Case 580 EV | Walkaround Video
They’re laying it on pretty think in the PR copy, too. “The 580 EV performs like a CASE backhoe– matching the power and performance expected from CASE with the advantages of an electrified machine,” explains Eric Zieser, director of global compact equipment product line at CASE. “Operators will experience the same digging, lifting and craning performance achieved in a diesel-powered machine in a quieter, emissions-free work area. That’s the ultimate goal of our sustainability efforts: improve the world around us, make equipment more sustainable, and to do so while finding new ways to improve productivity and the experience of the people who use the equipment.”
Now, there’s a good point here that’s easy to miss, and that’s the fact that electric construction equipment isn’t just better for the owners of the machines, it’s better for the people who use the machines and work next to the machines. They’re benefiting immediately from reduced hearing loss, improved safety, and better air quality — and those are benefits that pay off on day one!
The 580 EV is CASE’s first attempt at an electric machine, but it’s not likely to be the last. “We’re proving the viability of electrification at the larger end of the compact and light equipment spectrum,” says Zieser. “Our goal now is to further expand electrification and alternative propulsion into other product lines and markets that will also see the benefits from these advances related to sustainability and performance.”
What do you guys think– is Project Zeus going to start taking big bites into the equipment market, or will there be too many “old school” diesel holdouts for the electric back loader to make a dent? Let us know what you think in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Project Zeus | CASE 580 EV Photo Gallery
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