JCB’s first electric Loadall

Launched at the company’s first ever virtual press conference, the 100% electric 525-60E has been designed to deliver similar cycle times as the diesel version of the telehandler, with no loss of performance.

by Steven Vale

18 Nov 2020

JCB continues to expand the number of battery-powered zero emissions solutions, which on the construction side already includes several machines, the newest being the 1TE, a 1-tonne electrically-powered dumper, and the 35.33E, a 3.5t lifting Teletruk.

Interesting as these machines are, the 525-60E Loadall will appeal more to the farming community. Looking similar to the diesel-powered model on the outside, it is all change on the inside because a 96v Lithium-ion battery resides in the space normally reserved for the diesel engine.

The battery powers 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 drop box to the drive/steer axles.

The 22kW hydraulic system motor powers a fixed displacement gear pump, delivering a maximum 80lit/min of flow. 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.

The traction drive motor utilises regenerative braking, instead of a traditional braking system, topping up the battery in the process. The hydraulic system also regenerates flow whilst 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 525-60E has the same on-board charger as other JCB E-Tech products. This is capable of recharging the battery in eight hours using a standard 240v, 16A electrical supply. The optional universal charger provides a rapid top-up in as little as 35 minutes. The battery can be charged 5,000 times, which we are informed, equates to around 10,000 hours of operation.

The electric Loadall comes with a fully glazed full-size ROPS/FOPS, interior noise levels of which are a quiet 66.7dB. The cab features a 2.2kW heater, heated front, rear and side screens and a heated suspension seat.

External dimensions are unchanged from the diesel model and the maximum lift capacity of the 525-60E is 2.5t, with a 2.0t maximum load at the full 6.0m lift height. It can be used with forks, a range of buckets and many other Loadall attachments. Options include a white noise reversing alarm.

We are told to expect to see a lot more electric JCB products in the future, especially at the smaller end of the product ranges.