Many people predict that electric solutions will eventually take over from diesel power.
A number of technology demonstrator machines have been proposed by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and it could be said that many of these projects have solved the easy part of the puzzle, which is the replacement of diesel with batteries, controls and electric motors. The difficult, but equally critical, parts of the puzzle have yet to be fully addressed. In particular, challenges persist in areas like recharging logistics, cost and battery life.
The economic business case for fully electric-powered machines is limited at current prices of diesel, batteries and grid electricity. There are clearly some niches, where we expect electric machines to find a place in the immediate future. One example is micro-excavators where the electric machines could work in environments not accessible by diesel machines, thus expanding the market. The technology cost will also change as automotive adoption of full electric increases and this will lead to an increasing market.
The transition to future power solutions is likely to happen first in those machines where the practical considerations have been addressed and the economic benefits are obvious or where local conditions encourage it either via regulation or incentive.