John Deere, Utility to Test Electric Backhoe Concept

John Deere and National Grid, an energy utility serving more than 20 million people throughout the Northeast, will joint test an electric backhoe loader concept.

The John Deere developed, battery-powered, electric vehicle design–referred to as E-Power–will aim for the same performance level of its diesel-powered 310L backhoe. The design is intended to provide substantially lower daily operating costs, lower job site noise, enhanced machine reliability, and zero emissions.

“We are excited to work with National Grid, a leader in promoting clean energy solutions, to test the John Deere electric backhoe design in real-world conditions,” said Jason Daly, global director, production systems, technology and marketing, John Deere. “John Deere is committed to developing innovative, robustly tested, and reliable equipment for our customers, unlocking measurable value through the incorporation of smart technology solutions in our machines. This project is another stepping stone in our backhoe innovation journey, intended to lead to subsequent electrification testing and design refinement.”

The testing period will enable National Grid to expand its use of electric equipment on job sites, reaffirming its commitment to the use of clean and resilient energy solutions.

“National Grid is one of only two energy companies in the U.S. to add electric backhoes to their fleets,” said Badar Khan, president, National Grid, U.S. “We are excited to work with John Deere to take an important step in electrifying our company vehicles, which could be revolutionary for our industry. Decarbonizing transportation remains a challenge in the journey to net zero and we’re hopeful that bringing on more electrified heavy-duty vehicles and equipment will help us make significant progress.”

John Deere is in early Phase I development of its electric backhoe. At Conexpo 2020, Case Construction Equipment became the first OEM to release an electric backhoe loader in the U.S.