Bobcat, an American manufacturer of compact farm and construction equipment, has introduced what it calls the world’s first all-electric skid steer loader, a follow-up to the electric track loader Bobcat introduced two years ago (a skid steer uses differential steering—its wheels or tracks can turn in opposite directions to steer the machine, giving it an extremely tight turning radius).
Electric drive eliminates the need for hydraulics (a major source of maintenance issues), and of course also delivers quieter and smoother operation (a boon for operators). Run time is up to 8 hours on a single charge.
Joel from Bobcat points out another big advantage of EVs: there’s no idle time. “Run time” means when the motor is running, and that happens only when the loader is actually performing work, so 8 hours run time could be more than enough to get through an 8-hour work day.
Between tasks, the operator sits peacefully in vibration-free silence. Fleets that have deployed EVs are finding that drivers love them—an important consideration in today’s tight job market.