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Sustainability solutions dominate Bauma 2022 trade show

Hydrogen-powered equipment will launch sooner than expected in Australia, supported by electric machines, hybrid and battery power systems, and HVO 

 

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a priority across all global industries, so it was no surprise that sustainability dominated this year’s Bauma trade show. According to Dan Goodfellow, Group Manager for Products at Coates, battery-electric equipment, hybrid and battery power systems, and alternative fuels such as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) will provide an important pathway to reduced GHG emissions and will likely head quickly toward the introduction of hydrogen-powered non-road equipment in Australia.

“As Coates and our customers work towards achieving net-zero goals, Bauma is an important event to see where products are heading and how they fit with our sustainability targets, now and into the future. It was positive to see that Coates is already working with some of the most advanced suppliers and already has some of the products that attracted a lot of interest, or we've got them on order,” says Dan. 

In Australia, it is likely that major projects will move toward setting minimum expectations for embodied emissions reduction – that is the carbon associated with the construction materials, their transport to and from site, and the construction process itself. Coates is evolving its equipment and solutions offering to match this decarbonisation horizon.  

“I’m particularly excited about hydrogen, which I believe is the end game for heavier equipment because if you can generate it sustainably, then your only emission is water,” he adds. “I went to Bauma thinking that hydrogen technology was not going to be fully developed for at least the next 5 to 7 years. But having seen what I've seen, it's a lot closer and more practical than I thought, providing the infrastructure to support hydrogen is available in Australia.”

Held in Munich, Germany, from October 24 – 30, the triennial trade show attracted more than 495,000 visitors from over 200 countries, including a delegation from Coates. Here’s a look at what these key sustainability trends mean for Coates and our customers.

 

Electrification

While diesel will continue to power large, non-road equipment for some years to come, OEM progress in electrification was evident at Bauma with the largest collection of electric machines ever on display. Caterpillar unveiled four new Cat electric prototype machines, including a fully electric 20-tonne excavator, however, the majority of battery-electric machines are compact and electrifying larger equipment remains a challenge.

“Electrification is definitely taking those next steps. We've got some machines that have started small and now it's all about a little bit bigger, a little bit more powerful, a little bit more run time, so you can get a full day's work rather than a half day's work. The cost savings in operation are evident, with the volatile fuel prices we are seeing.

“You get to a certain stage in product development though where electrification is just not possible anymore due to the weight of the machine, physical battery size needed to run the machine and the cost of the batteries. For instance, Caterpillar’s 20-tonne electric excavator is amazing, but the actual machine is heavier than a traditional 20-tonne, can take 15 hours to charge and was indicated at being at least double the price of a traditional machine,” says Dan.

Battery-electric products are a key component of Coates’ Greener Choices range, so the company will continue to add more volume and more ranges of electric machines to the fleet, with new access, telehandlers, forklifts, earthmoving and compaction gear planned for 2023, as well as introducing small hybrid and solar power generation equipment.

 
Hydrogen power

Hydrogen can be burned in internal combustion engines (ICE) or converted to electrical energy in fuel cells via a chemical reaction with oxygen. At Bauma, OEMs such as Hyundai Construction Equipment, Liebherr and Volvo Penta showcased equipment prototypes featuring both technologies, but Dan believes hydrogen ICE are more practical for the hire industry as the technology is less complicated and more cost-effective than fuel cells.

On-site refuelling of hydrogen-powered machines – in the same way that fuel bowsers are used for diesel-powered plant – has also taken a step closer to reality. “Some suppliers, like JCB, have recently unveiled a mobile hydrogen refuelling unit which allows for easy transportation of hydrogen to site, so they are starting to work through the entire supply chain of hydrogen in a practical way,” says Dan.

Coates will begin trialling hydrogen-powered products next year, starting with generators and progressing to other equipment. “We'll wait for the right technology and invest in equipment that’s robust, practical and useful for our customers,” Dan adds.

 

HVO fuel

Alternative fuel was another much talked-about topic at Bauma, with OEMs such as Liebherr and John Deere keen to demonstrate that their latest engines were compatible with renewable diesel fuel such as hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO), made by the hydrocracking or hydrogenation of vegetable oil. 

“What’s interesting is that you don't necessarily save all the carbon dioxide at the tailpipe of the machine but, because it's made from waste from fats and vegetable oils used in your local fish and chip shop, the production of HVO saves up to 90% of the overall carbon dioxide emissions produced by using fossil fuels,” says Dan. In Australia, using our regulated emissions calculations for Scope 1 emissions, this delivers an almost 100% reduction to reported GHGs when using HVO instead of diesel.

While supply of HVO is limited and quite costly in Australia, the more demand for this type of product then the more practical it will become for use in Coates equipment and on our customer sites.

 

Supporting the transition to net zero

Coates' equipment solutions in use will form a component of a project’s embodied emissions, and our customer’s footprint, during construction. We are supportive of the transition to decarbonise the infrastructure pipeline, taking input from Infrastructure Council and NSW Infrastructure to inform our product strategy. 

Coates visited Bauma 2022 to look ahead, and will continue to leverage strong relationships with equipment manufacturers to encourage sustainable product development. In the Australian market, we aim to partner with our customers to develop sustainable and successful construction and infrastructure project tenders and delivery.

The next edition of Bauma takes place in April 2025.  Explore Coates’ Greener Choices range and read more about our sustainability journey

 

Sources:

Caterpillar Expands Construction Industries Portfolio with Four Battery-Electric Machines

Hyundai Construction Equipment at Bauma 2022

Liebherr hydrogen excavator receives Bauma Innovation Award

Volvo Penta at Bauma 2022

Wraps come off hydrogen refueller as JCB unveils industry first

Bauma 2022: Product highlights and innovations at Liebherr earthmoving and material handling machines

John Deere Power Systems showcases diversified range of powertrain solutions at Bauma 2022

New engines to feature on Kubota booth at Bauma 2022

Climateworks, Reshaping Infrastructure for a Net Zero Emissions Future

Infrastructure NSW, Decarbonising Infrastructure Delivery – NSW Government Discussion Paper

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