After a number of years building electric machines for the construction industry, JCB is launching its first electric Loadall model, which may have appeal for the agricultural sector.

The new development comes over 43 years after the firm first began working on the telescopic handler concept. The new model – the 525-60E – is said to deliver the same performance as its counterpart diesel-powered machine.

The 525-60E uses two electric motors, one for the driveline and the second to power the hydraulic system. The 17kW traction motor drives through a permanent four-wheel-drive dropbox, to proven JCB drive-steer axles. The 22kW hydraulic system motor powers a fixed displacement gear pump, delivering a flow rate of up 80l/minute. Flow is proportional to joystick position and the lift end is controlled by an electro-hydraulic valve block, with hydraulic regeneration on boom lower and retract.

JCB claims the electric motors are 85% efficient, which it says compares well with the 45% efficiency of a diesel engine. The firm says the 96V lithium-ion battery is capable of providing full-shift operation.

Regenerative braking

The traction drive motor uses regenerative braking instead of a traditional braking system, topping up the battery in the process. The hydraulic system also regenerates flow while lowering the boom, reducing the power requirement and extending operating hours. The brake regen function automatically turns off when the battery is fully charged.

The machine has the same on-board charger as other JCB ‘E-Tech’ products. JCB says it’s capable of recharging the battery in eight hours using a standard 240V, 16A electrical supply. An optional JCB universal charger can be used for a rapid top-up during breaks in as little as 35 minutes. JCB has said the battery can be charged up to 5,000 times.

Weighing in at 5,200kg, the new telehandler features a maximum lift capacity of 2,500kg. It has a maximum lifting height of 6m, to which it can lift 720kg. External dimensions remain the same as its diesel counterpart.

With a fully glazed full-size cab, the machine features a significant reduction in noise levels.

Prices haven’t yet been set.