As the off-road sector accounts for an increasingly larger share of the greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emission inventories in California, there has been growing interest in partially or fully electrifying this sector. The objective of this research is to assess the potential for electrifying off-road equipment used in construction and agriculture applications. By analyzing their real-world in-use operation and energy demand, it is found that agricultural tractors, excavators, graders, rubber tired loaders, and tractors/loaders/backhoes, which are among the most populous and top emitting equipment types in their respective categories, can be fully electrified with the currently available electric motor and battery technologies. For these equipment types, funding a turnover of equipment smaller than 100 horsepower would generally be more cost-effective, in terms of dollars per ton of emission reduction, than larger ones at this time. Given that diesel equipment with 100 horsepower or lower are responsible for about a quarter of the annual total diesel fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by off-road equipment in California, it is recommended that incentive and regulatory programs be designed to accelerate the development, demonstration, and adoption of electric off-road equipment in these types and sizes as the initial targets.
For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753
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