Say ‘Hi’ to Hybrid: Why the Future is Electric for the Construction Industry
Diesel fuel has been under some sharp scrutiny over recent years. Following scandals involving ‘defeat devices’ in cars that falsified emissions data and statistics, revealing just how damaging NOx pollution is to our environment, diesel remains under the microscope by politicians and health professionals alike.
NOx pollution is still at an illegally high level in numerous areas of the EU and it is estimated to cause 23,500 early deaths every year in the UK. Following ‘dieselgate’ for Volkswagen in 2015, new tests that are ‘impossible to cheat’ are showing that even the more recently manufactured diesel vehicles are still dirty. With diesel vehicles being responsible for 88% of the £6Bn annual damage to people’s health in the UK, it comes as no surprise that hybrid technology is on the rise both on the road and on our construction sites.
Hybrids on our Roads
On the road, the difference in environmental impact of diesel engines versus those of hybrids is staggering, even when comparing vehicles of similar fuel economy. This is down to the alternative technology of a hybrid engine and where it gets its power from – an electric motor and regenerative braking. This makes the hybrid vehicle the champion of stop-and-go city driving, using 40% less fuel than their conventional counterparts about town.
Hybrids on our Construction Sites
In construction, the same technologies aren’t as easy to apply due to the heavy load of construction vehicles and low speed. Therefore, to target the high consumption rate of construction vehicles, manufacturers are investing in hybrid powertrain technology, with hybrid wheel loaders and excavators making significant progress in recent times. Komatsu produced their first hybrid excavator in 2008, and since then many other manufacturers have striven to offer vehicles that can reduce a company’s carbon footprint. Volvo has developed its first all-electric heavy-duty truck, and the low-noise, low vibration and air-quality boosting HGV is being described as a breakthrough in technology.
Environmentally Friendly Machinery
The zero-emission sector is emerging very rapidly, with urbanization leading to work being carried out in close proximity to hospitals and well as indoors, underground and near food production environments. This inspired the development of JCB’s first fully electric digger, which was produced at their Staffordshire headquarters in response to market demands for quieter machinery.
At the moment, a piece of hybrid equipment or a hybrid vehicle may cost a business more initially, but the cost of fuel in the long-term is significantly lower, as is the cost to public health. More and more businesses are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact at the same time as reducing their costs, and a shift to hybrid technologies is forming a large part of the process for businesses that utilise company fleets and construction vehicles.
Your business would also reap the financial rewards of making fuel economy its focus, which can be as easy as investing in vehicle tracking devices from Phantom. An iTrack system can cut fuel costs drastically, as you can monitor driver behaviour, plan routes effectively and avoid wasted fuel. Say ‘Hi’ to us, on 0161 476 4050 to find out which of our vehicle and on-site technologies could save you some cash and slash your carbon footprint.