Modular Batteries Convert Diesel Trucks To Electric

February 16, 2024 by Jake Hertz

Moog Construction's system offers cost-effective conversion of diesel-powered heavy equipment into zero-emissions vehicles.

Heavy equipment in the construction industry significantly contributes to climate change, representing 20 percent of worldwide emissions. Converting heavy equipment from diesel engines to zero-emission machines is necessary for meeting decarbonization goals.

Moog Construction has introduced a solution allowing fleets to convert their diesel-powered equipment into zero-emission vehicles. This technology can reduce the challenges of electrifying heavy equipment.


Electric backhoe loader.

Electric backhoe loader. Image used courtesy of Moog Construction


Challenges in Heavy Equipment Electrification

Electrifying heavy equipment used in construction presents several challenges stemming from the industry’s unique demands and the inherent limitations of current electric vehicle technology. 

A primary hurdle is the substantial power requirement of heavy construction machinery, including excavators, bulldozers, and cranes. These machines require significant energy to operate for extended periods and in demanding conditions. Current battery technology, while rapidly advancing, still struggles to provide the high energy density needed to support long hours of operation without frequent recharging.


Electrifying heavy equipment.

Electrifying heavy equipment. Image courtesy of Optimas International


Another significant challenge is the infrastructure for charging heavy equipment. Construction sites in remote or undeveloped have limited access to the electrical grid. Installing the necessary charging infrastructure in these areas can be logistically challenging and costly. Moreover, the time required to recharge large batteries can lead to downtime for the equipment, potentially delaying construction projects and increasing costs.

Finally, the durability and ruggedness of electric heavy equipment also pose a challenge. Construction machinery is subjected to harsh conditions, including dust, dirt, vibrations, and impacts. Electric systems must be robust enough to withstand these conditions without compromising performance or safety. Ensuring the reliability of electric heavy equipment in such environments requires significant engineering and the use of high-quality, durable components, which can increase the cost.


Electrification Made Easy 

Recently, Moog Construction introduced ZQuip modular batteries to overcome some of the major issues facing heavy equipment electrification.  

At the heart of the ZQuip solution are the 70- and 140-kWh energy modules, which are designed to be interchangeable across a wide range of construction machinery, regardless of size, type, or manufacturer. These energy modules operate at 700 volts. The interchangeability ensures a high level of serviceability and runtime and offers value beyond current battery solutions. 


ZQuip conversion kit and 140 kWh batteries installed in heavy equipment.

ZQuip conversion kit and 140 kWh batteries installed in heavy equipment. Image courtesy of ZQuip


The system also includes a conversion kit comprising a battery harness, electric motor, and AI-driven thermal management system. This kit is essential for converting traditional diesel-powered equipment into electric versions enhancing their efficiency and environmental friendliness. Furthermore, ZQuip incorporates the Internet of Things with connectivity features, allowing for real-time monitoring of a fleet's activities and battery life. This technology plays a crucial role in eliminating range anxiety and maximizing uptime, ensuring that machines are always ready and operational when needed.

A notable feature of the system is its inherent flexibility allows for tailored battery capacity to match specific job requirements, avoiding the inefficiency and extra costs associated with overcapacity. For instance, a construction site might have machines with varying energy needs, but with ZQuip, each machine can be equipped with just the right amount of battery capacity, ensuring efficient and cost-effective operation.


The Impact of Electrifying Construction Equipment  

Construction contributes to a significant amount of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but, to date, electrification solutions for heavy equipment have been hard to find. Moog Construction’s battery solutions seem like a promising solution to this challenge, resulting in a way to convert any diesel system into a zero-emissions one. The company hopes to catalyze the construction industry’s transition to a more sustainable future.