WATCH: The urgent need for construction machinery electrification

Site machines emit the same amount of CO2 each year as the aviation industry. 50% of this comes excavators alone. 

yellow and black excavator on brown soil

Energy efficient solutions specialist Danfoss has published a new whitepaper identifying the urgent need for construction machinery electrification to address this problem. In addition to highlighting the impact, the work also shows routes to improvement and benefits of recommended actions. 

One area that has been specifically focused on is excavators, which pose a particular challenge in terms of decarbonisation. Unlike many other types of vehicle, these heavy duty machines are widely considered unsuitable for electrification due to the need for regular recharging or battery swapping in the field. The enormous weight of batteries needed to power them is also a problem. 

However, according to Danfoss, a lot could be gained from improving efficiency by reducing engine size. Taking this approach, battery capacity needed for electrification of excavators could fall by almost 25%. Meanwhile, fuel consumption would drop by up to 30% and 15tons of weight could disappear from the total mass. 

The research appears on a whitepaper, Roadmap for Decarbonizing Cities, which is available online for free. You can watch an overview video below. 

Recently, Environment Journal published a feature on ResponsibleSteel, and its aims of cleaning up construction. We also ran a video earlier this year looking at the potential in a new sustainable concrete substitute currently in development. Overall, the construction sector and built environment accounts for 40% of total worldwide emissions, this includes both development stages and ongoing use.



More on construction and climate:

Can ResponsibleSteel clean up the construction industry?

WATCH: Can concrete help reach net zero construction?

Urban planning can mean climate action

Image: Abdul Zreika


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