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Agricultural and earthmoving machinery: increasing electrification

Agricultural and earthmoving machinery: increasing electrification

Electric cars, e-bikes and electric scooters are well-known to everybody, but there’s another important electric transition in progress, and it’s the passage towards the production of electric vehicles for agriculture and in the construction machines sector.

Somewhat out of the spotlight, battery-run electrified solutions have already enjoyed high applicative success in the off-highway sector, that is, for all those machines that need energy both for traction, moving, and for driving equipment used in the carrying out of agricultural or building tasks, in which Reggio Emilia, Modena and the geographical area referred to as the Emilia Motor Valley have, for many years, already proved to be world leaders in the development and production of electric, mechatronic and hydraulic components for professional machinery.

There are sectors, such as agricultural mechanisation, which are going through a ground-breaking revolution. The energy transition is an authentic change of direction towards the use of electricity in agriculture, with a view to sustainability and the circular economy, precisely in a sector historically linked to internal combustion diesel motors. Today, thanks to photovoltaic panels, agri-voltaic systems and the production of biogas, farming enterprises can self-produce electricity which can be used for charging batteries independently and locally, at low cost.

Many farmers, persuaded by high energy bills and the uncertainty of the costs that their farms have to sustain for purchasing fossil fuels and AdBlue liquid (for latest-generation diesels), are moving towards the concept of “zero emissions”, undertaking, with conviction, the electric transition towards economic, environmental and technological sustainability.

Industrial mechanics enterprises are producing hybrid and full-electric solutions and BEVs, already available on the market, that offer flexibility and efficiency with the idea of eliminating the need for polluting and expensive fossil fuels.

2021 could be historically remembered as that of electrification, of a decisive break from combustion engines. These new electric vehicles could soon also become self-driven, further reducing dependence and business costs.

Volvo Construction Equipment, one of the market leaders in the earthmoving sector, has already been selling an almost complete range of electrical machinery, wheel loaders and compact excavators since 2019, making it possible to work and move materials also inside buildings. In 2022, Volvo CE will launch as many as three further new electric machines into its product range.

The decarbonisation of machinery is not driven only by ecological motives, but also by the need to be able to work in a less environmentally impacting way, decidedly less noisy and without emissions of dangerous gases, harmful to people’s health.

The constant torque of electric motors guarantees new professional battery-powered machines a unique level of performance, with a better quality of work than similar diesel or petrol vehicles used so far.

Together with the necessary development of electrified technical solutions, it will be necessary for the user to have an adequate infrastructure for battery charging, making it possible to work with continuity and effectiveness and with efficiency of general costs. To this end, businesses will need to turn to professionals, partners and consultants who are able to accompany them on the right path in the electrification of their machinery. 

Electric working machines today still have a purchase price which is around double that of traditional machines, albeit falling, however, in terms of TCO, total cost of ownership; thanks to the reduced costs of necessary maintenance, the initial difference falls with the number of years of use.

At a European level, the road to electrification is already under way in the off-highway sector and Reinova is ready to support new partners also in this challenging technological and ecological transition, towards growing attention for the environment and corporate economic sustainability, more independent from the purchase of non-renewable fossil fuels.


BEV = Battery Electric Vehicle

TCO = Total Cost of Ownership.