Hybrid still important for access says Genie’s Mike Davis

Hybrid power technology will remain key for access equipment because of the challenges in creating a charging infrastructure, said Mike Davis, Vice President of Engineering at Genie, at the ALH conference in Chicago.

Davis, who reminded the audience that electrification had been a reality for access equipment for 35 years, said the key issue in shifting toward battery powered equipment was the charging infrastructure.

Mike davis at ALH conference in Chicago Mike Davis, VP Engineering at Genie, speaking at the 2022 ALH Conference in Chicago,. (Photo: KHL/Joe Mather)

He contrasted Chinese construction sites, where power grids are connected early on, to projects in Europe and North America, where power on site is often provided by diesel generators or other temporary power source; “If you can’t charge at 440 V or 220 V, then it’s going to be a problem.”

“Charging is the big challenge for construction equipment, and it’s the same with automobiles”, he said, “I want to put in a plug for hybrids. [With hybrids] the engine size is also smaller, so it’s a pretty good compromise.

“Hybrids are going to be an important part of the equation as we go through this transition. I think they are going to be around for a while.”

Lithium ion powered slab scissors
Davis said Genie would be launching lithium ion powered slab scissors over the coming months; “We have done two years of testing to ensure the products will work flawlessly”. Tests have covered issues such as vibration and temperature; “That’s been very important to us. We’re putting something out that we will be happy to put our Genie name on.”

He told ALH that lithium ion batteries, although more expensive than traditional batteries, had a longer life and lower total cost of ownership.

His presentation also looked at other issues around the use of batteries, including the availability of lithium, which he noted was becoming a global supply chain issue impacting all industries, as well as the need to certify technicians to work on electrically powered equipment.

Davis was speaking at the Access, Lift & handlers (ALH) conference at the Loews O’Hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, on Thursday September 29.

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