Case Study, Electric machinery, Equipment and Machinery, Excavators, Wacker Neuson

Electric power: The Wacker Neuson EZ17e

Wacker Neuson’s EZ17e

Wacker Neuson’s EZ17e fully electric mini excavator delivers power and productivity without the fumes. EEM teams up with Steve from Ryan’s Earthmoving to learn more.

The EZ17e from Wacker Neuson is a fully electric 1.7-tonne excavator designed to deliver the same power and breakout to its diesel equivalent, without the emissions.

It is also the first fully electric zero tail mini excavator without rear projection, making it the perfect choice for contractors needing to operate in either noise or emission sensitive areas such as tunnels, indoor areas, hospital, schools, or childcare centres.

The Wacker Neuson EZ17e
The EZ17e is designed to deliver the same power and breakout as its diesel counterpart.

Its powerful lithium-ion battery delivers six-hour continuous run time and overnight charging capabilities. For longer periods of continuous use, the excavator can be used in stationary operation while connected to a power source.

The EZ17e features 4.5km/h ground speed, 20.5kN bucket breakout, and 4480 psi operating hydraulic pressure. But the biggest standout feature is its smooth and quiet operation, designed to reduce operator fatigue at the end of the day.

To test this and many other ins and outs of the Wacker Neuson EZ17e, EEM enlisted the help of Steve Ryan from Ryan’s Earthmoving. Steve’s business is based in the regional town of St. Andrews, just north-east of Melbourne, where he regularly works for builders, concreters and property owners, as well as taking on his own landscaping jobs.

Wacker Neuson’s EZ17e
The EZ17e features 20.5kN bucket breakout, and 4480 psi operating hydraulic pressure.

As an owner of the excavator’s diesel equivalent, Steve was the perfect operator to test the EZ17e.

“When you first turn the machine on and start working, the lack of any noise is a little strange at first, as our brains are so used to the noise of an excavator working,” Steve says. “But within five or 10 minutes you get used to the quiet, and then realise you can actually communicate with other workers with ease, without having to worry about upsetting property owners or anyone else close to the work area.

“From a safety perspective alone, that is awesome. You can hear everything going on around you, instead of being in your own little bubble.”

Steve says it’s not uncommon to hear that the movement of electric excavators can be quite “jerky” compared to diesel machines – but the EZ17e doesn’t suffer from this issue in the slightest.

The controls of the Wacker Neuson ZE17e
An intuitive operating concept makes operating the EZ17e easy.

“From an operator’s perspective this machine seems to have the exact amount of breakout and power as my diesel equivalent machine – perhaps even just a little bit more,” he says. “In our testing over the course of the day today, we have dug half a dozen or so decent sized holes for trees which are about to be planted, cleared some ground for a series of steps that needed to be cut in, and also moved some earth from a stockpile.

“All of which are pretty common tasks for an excavator of this size, and I’m very happy to say that the EZ17e has taken it all in its stride.”

Steve says that despite operating in ECO mode for most of the day, he found there was enough breakout and power to effortlessly work through his to-do list .

“The EZ17e hasn’t missed a beat,” he says. “When digging the holes for the trees, we needed to dig an area the size of roughly a large wheely bin and the ground was very hard and compacted throughout the entire area. Despite this, the bucket seemed to rip through the hard ground without any problems at all – and without burning up a pile of battery life.”

The EZ17e can operate in stationary mode connected to mains power for extended work hours.

Compact power

Other features of the EZ17e include hydraulic plumbing and quick hitch, enabling operators to quickly switch between attachments such as augers, small hammers, grabs, and buckets. The 240-bar operating pressure and max flow rate of 39lpm ensures support for more pressure hungry hydraulic attachments.

As a 1.7-tonne machine, the EZ17e can be easily towed on a trailer behind a 4WD, and the FOPs roll bar can be quickly and easily removed for transit or storage by undoing four bolts.

Reduced maintenance and service costs is another key feature of the EZ17e, with the need for changing engine oil and filters completely eliminated.

An intuitive operating concept enables simple control of the excavator using the joystick, jog dial and keypad. This also makes accessing attachment and oil level settings quick and easy.

The EZ17e’s 100 per cent zero tail design with no overhang allows for operation in tight spaces, making it an ideal choice for working alongside walls, roadways, and other obstructions.

Aerial image of a Wacker Neuson EZ17e in operation
Steve says the EZ17e has no trouble digging through hard, compacted earth.
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