The demand for electric construction equipment is on the rise as industry trends shift into sustainability and “green” building. Leading manufacturers, like CAT and Komatsu, are fully embracing electric powered equipment and have released their own lineup of machines.
In fact, Volvo Construction Equipment is planning to only produce electric equipment by 2050.

However, consumers are unsure if abandoning the machines they’ve used for decades is worth it. In this article we’ll go over the pros and cons of electric equipment, look at the different types of electric equipment, and discuss the future of electric heavy equipment.

Volvo electric equipment lineup
Volvo Electric Equipment Lineup | Source: Volvo Group

Pros of Electric Equipment

Lower Maintenance Costs: Electric engines are more dependable than traditional diesel engines. They require less maintenance and repairs because they have fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engines. Because you won’t have to tag your machines for repair, you will have less downtime on your jobsite.

Less Noise: A reduction in noise pollution may allow you to work outside of normal operating hours so you can finish the job quicker. Because electric machines are quiet, they provide an extra precaution to protect your workers from hearing loss.

Fewer Emissions: Electric machines are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency as zero-emissions machines. That means your workers and the public won’t be exposed to toxic smoke and nitrogen oxide. If you decide to invest in electric equipment, you may be eligible for more government contracts. That’s because governments are giving more attention to companies that reduce waste and have a lower carbon footprint.

Cons of Electric Equipment

Long Recharge Times: In most cases, compact electric construction equipment can run for 4-8 hours on a full charge. It can take up to 10 hours to get a full charge depending on the power source. If your machines built with removable batteries, you could cut downtime by having a fully charged battery on hand to swap with the empty ones.

Expensive Setup: There is not enough infrastructure to support the machines. It would take a large investment to build a jobsite capable of charging your new machines. If you’re working in a rural area, you’ll need to invest in portable charging methods or purchase a vehicle that can transport your equipment to the jobsite to reserve the battery.

High Equipment Cost: Because electric models are new, they cost more than traditional diesel machines. Also, since there aren’t many electric machines on the market, repairs and replacement parts will cost more. As the market grows, equipment prices will go down. In some cases, the initial price of the machines can be justified.

Future Of Electric Equipment

According to Yahoo!, the electric equipment market will be worth $24.8 billion by 2027. Needles to say, the trend is here to stay.  Major contributors to the market growth bare environmental consciousness, low noise pollution, and the reduction of toxic fumes in tight spaces.

Experts predict that the mining industry will have the greatest impact on the growth of the electric equipment market. Underground mining is an expensive and dangerous job. Workers are exposed to harmful dust, very hot temperatures, and toxic gas produced by diesel mining equipment. These risks have raised concern with governments and mining corporations about the safety, environmental, and financial advantages of electric mining equipment.

CAT 906 Loader Charging Port | Source: Equipment World

Even if you’re not ready to commit to a fleet of electric vehicles, it may be beneficial to you to start incorporating them with your diesel machines. Electric engines are quitter, break less often, and have a better impact on the environment than traditional engines. Though electric machinery is a great alternative, there are some cons you should take into consideration when buying one.

Depending on the power source, it could take up to 10 hours to get a full charge. Also, you’ll have to invest in a new setup to be able to keep the machines charged. And because electric construction equipment is new, they are more expensive than diesel machines.  With all that being said, electric equipment is here to stay and will soon be the majority of machines available.

 Are you considering buying an electric machine? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Heavy Equipment Auctions

If you’re looking for used heavy equipment with low hours, Compass Auctions has you covered! Every month we auction:

  • Excavators
  • Skid Steers
  • Dozers
  • Paving Equipment
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Farming Equipment

AND MORE! You can find equipment listings in our Day 1 auctions.

Heavy Equipment Consignments

If you need some extra cash to help you buy a new electric machine, we’ll help you sell your old diesel one. Our consignment process is easy, fast, and flexible. We offer sell-in place options and handle communications with buyers.

We offer sell-in place options and handle communications with buyers. Our monthly auctions provide an opportunity for your machine to sell in 15 days. When your machine sells, you’ll get paid within 10 business days. Visit our consignments page to learn more about selling your equipment with Compass Auctions.

About Compass Auctions & Real Estate

Compass Auctions and Real Estate hosts monthly auctions featuring heavy equipment, firearms and ammo, industrial equipment, vehicles, jewelry and collectibles, and restaurant equipment. Our team is here to help! If you have questions about any of the items for auction, call 800-729-6466 or send an email to

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