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Battle of the Batteries


For construction equipment and BEVs, which electric tech will win?

As the world shifts towards the benefits of renewable energy sources, new developments show a promising future free from the environmental pollutants and health dangers associated with traditional fuel. Batteries are moving to the forefront of world energy production due to their improving performance and low maintenance. For the construction and automotive industries, this means that the various electric batteries on the market have to compete to get to the top. It’s an exciting time in the industry, so here’s our take on who the winner might be.

What’s available now: The industrial

If you work in construction or other heavy industries such as mining, then it’s the industrial type of battery that can power your operation. There are five primary types (Absolyte, large flooded cell, nickel iron, wet nickel cadmium and steel case) that with proper care can fuel heavy machinery or power a generator in a cost-effective and environmentally-responsible way. A properly charged industrial battery will provide a solid performance over the working day and typically only require recharging overnight to be ready for the next shift.

What’s available now: SLI

SLI batteries (Starting, Lighting, and Ignition) are usually smaller than their heavier industrial counterparts. This is due to the lesser demands on their function. SLIs just have to get a vehicle’s engine started, keep its lights on, and power the ignition. Usually providing a 12-volt charge, SLI’s are typically of the lead-acid type. They release a high ampere burst to get a vehicle started. Like their industrial cousins, they’re adversely affected by deep discharge: the condition where the battery has been drained completely of its stored energy before being charged.

BEVs and PHEVs

When it comes to the car market, two types of battery-bearing vehicles are in competition today: the BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) and the PHEVs (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles). As their names suggest, the former is wholly electric while the latter is powered by a blend of battery power and a combustion engine.

Picking the winner here comes down to the issue of range. If a driver isn’t planning to go far (and according to statistics, the average American commute is 36 miles a day) then a BEV could be champ. If you’re looking for longer distances, then PHEV’s allow you to switch to a gassed-up engine the moment your electrical charge runs out. For many consumers not quite fully convinced that battery has their back, that gas reserve can provide some peace of mind.

Things are changing rapidly, however. With Elon Musk’s all-electric Tesla Model 3 breaking the 300-mile mark, this particular battle looks set to go either way.

Traction batteries

If the battery battlefield consists of conflict between industrial and SLI solutions, then the traction battery (also called an EVB or electric- vehicle battery) is basically the mediator because it can be used by both.

On the industrial side, heavy duty electrical vehicles such as the Sherpa 100 ECO skid steer run on a 24- volt traction battery which powers a two-horsepower DC motor engine. Its stable mate the Sherpa 100 EHD does the same, but with greater horsepower and lifting muscle. The 100 ECO plugs directly into standard 110-volt outlets and performs a host of duties, while the streamlined and computer-controlled EHD allows for superior maneuverability.

Both rigs benefit from zero fuel costs and zero harmful emissions (visible spills or invisible and harmful sound levels). Traction batteries can remain effective over a five-year life cycle with proper care and attention. This is based on a model of being recharged daily; if there’s no need to use your vehicle every day, then it will last longer than the five-year span.

How YOU can decide the winner

If you’re in the construction business, you should give our Cost Saving Calculator a try. 60 seconds will reveal how traction batteries could spell major improvements for your operation, boosting everything from profits to employee productivity while lowering maintenance costs.

As battery power and the construction industry move forward, Triple E Equipment keeps pace. Affordable, efficient, and green are what we stand for and we’re here to empower your site. You can reach us on (954)-978 3440 or send us a message detailing your needs.

October 18, 2017 By Alex Berg in Blog