The Bobcat T7X has been developed for the North American market initially but if there’s demand – surely there will be? – it could be on its way to the UK too.
“The T7X has been developed for the North American market for now but it addresses a global need and challenge,” said Vijay Nerva, Doosan Bobcat head of innovation for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “We plan to undergo internal testing and gather customer feedback in various countries in the EMEA region this year to better understand customer needs in this market before taking commercial decisions.”
The Bobcat T7X lays claim to being the world's first all-electric compact track loader. It is fully battery-powered, built to be more productive from the ground up with electric actuation and propulsion, “with high-performance torque and more powerful than any diesel-fuelled track loader that has ever come before it” Bobcat says.
The all-electric platform enables instantaneous power and peak torque available at every operating speed. The operator no longer must wait for the standard hydraulic system to build up power.
Not only does it not drink diesel, it doesn’t need much coolant either – less than one litre is required, compared to around 216 litres of fluid in its diesel/hydraulic equivalent model.
At the heart of the T7X is a 62 kW lithium-ion battery. While applications vary, each charge can support up to four hours of continuous operation time or a full day of intermittent use, the manufacturer says. The intelligence of the power management system is programmed to sense when loads are increasing, automatically backing off power when not needed to preserve the total energy use and extend the machine's runtime.
"This machine is a technological feat for Bobcat and for the entire industry," said Joel Honeyman, Doosan Bobcat vice president of global innovation. "We challenged the status quo to deliver a connected, all-electric machine designed for power and performance that previously was not possible. We are excited to share this advancement with the world and proud of the hard work that has gone into making this a reality."
Sunbelt Rentals USA will be the first customer and has committed to “a significant investment” in them. Will its UK sister company be far behind?