New Holland Electric Mini-Excavator Hits Market

As powerful as its diesel-powered counterpart, the E15X 1.5-ton excavator can run for eight hours on a charge.

The New Holland E15X battery-electric excavator purportedly can be operated for a full eight-hour shift before needing to be recharged. (CNH Industrial)

Contractors and municipalities in 2023 will have an electric alternative to diesel-powered small excavators in the 1.5-ton New Holland E15X and the in-development 2.5-ton Case CX25EV. The electric mini excavators were first shown in February 2022 but are now on sale. SAE Media had a chance to see and operate the machines recently at CNH Industrial’s Tech Day in Phoenix, Arizona.

Variable-width tracks can be narrowed to less than 31 inches (791 mm), making doorway entrances possible. (Chris Clonts)

The E15X is driven by a 21.5-kW (29-hp) lithium-ion battery that powers a 16-kW (21.5-hp) motor, equivalent to the company’s diesel-powered E14D. The machine can operate for 8 hours for most missions and can be recharged in 10 hours with a standard 110-volt outlet or in a little more than an hour when using its fast charge. The power management software on the E15X earned a mention at the EIMA Technology Innovation Awards, for precisely regulating oil flow to help maximize the battery life.

With zero emissions and greatly reduced noise, the E15X is safer to operate in confined indoor spaces. (Chris Clonts)

One of the biggest use cases for electric excavators is their use in confined spaces indoors because of their status as zero-emission machines. Without the constant clatter of a diesel engine, the machines are noticeably quieter, especially indoors. And speaking of confined spaces, how’s this for a neat trick? The E15X has a variable-width undercarriage that, in seconds, can be made narrow enough (31 inches or 791 mm) to fit through most standard-sized doors. The height can be reduced to less than 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) by rotating the roll bar.

At the Phoenix presentation, Eric Zieser, CNH’s light equipment product portfolio manager, said the excavators use bio-hydraulic oil, which extends service intervals. The E15X is suitable for agriculture, landscaping, utility digging and demolition. “These have been in the field, testing with municipalities across a range of duties,” he said, adding that the machines will be available for order from Case Construction in January.

Neither final specifications nor an on-sale date were available for the CX25EV.