Hitachi ZE85 Electric Excavator In a pioneering move toward a more sustainable future in construction, Anric Group (Anric) recently made waves with its acquisition of a Hitachi ZE85 8.5 tonne 100% electric excavator from Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia (HCA).

This strategic decision places Anric – a leader in rail and civil applications – at the forefront of innovation in industries transitioning towards a greater environmental sustainability approach. The introduction of an electric excavator underlines HCA’s dedication to environmentally conscious practices within an industry traditionally characterised by raw power.

This excavator is the first of its kind in its size category to be introduced in Australia. Pushing the boundaries to excel in safety, quality, and environmental sustainability through cutting-edge technology, Anric showed a keen interest in pursuing the ZE85, researching and engaging with HCA even before it’s official release to the Australian market.

“The ZE85 has been a long time in the making and something we have wanted to do for a long time. No other OEM has managed to get a production machine to market that is well tested,” stated Anthony Spinozzi, Anric Group’s Operations Manager.

The ZE85, a compact and agile 8.5 tonne electric excavator, is built upon the foundation of the highly efficient Hitachi ZX85USB-5. Boasting a robust 40 kW, it meets the same high-performance standards as its diesel-powered counterpart, however it achieves it with zero emissions and is 100% electric. In contrast to machines powered by combustion engines, the electric powertrain demands zero maintenance, ensuring a commendable level of availability.

Carbon-free, emission-free, and remarkably quiet, the L-ion battery of the ZE85 provides a continuous operating time of five and a half hours with three batteries (there is space for an optional fourth battery to increase the usage time, in excess of seven hours). Equipped with a standard CCS fast charge plug, the battery can achieve a charge from 0% to 100% in just forty-five minutes, even a quick thirty-minute charge during break can bring the machine’s battery level from 0% to 80%.

If a CCS connection is not available on-site, the ZE85 can be trickle charged via an AC 400 V CEE 63-amp power supply (0% to 100% in 105 mins), or via a 400 V CEE 32-amp power supply (0% to 100% in 210 mins). The batteries can also be charged whilst the machine is in operation (known as dual mode), eliminating any downtime. The integrated telematics system provides the customer with valuable data.

Anric believe the ZE85 excavator is best suited for large tunnel infrastructure projects, utilising the machine not only above ground but also within confined excavation boxes or tunnels. The decision is driven not only by the environmentally friendly features but also by the consideration of low noise levels and improved air quality for workers outside the cabin.

Anthony further stating; “Anric takes on major infrastructure projects across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland so it will be interesting to see what project jumps at the opportunity to have an innovative game changing technology assist them to meet their goals.”

A dedicated client of HCA, Riccardo Spinozzi, the founder of Anric, acquired a Hitachi UH063 excavator back in 1984. This excavator, refurbished over time, now serves as a cherished collector’s item, standing as a testament to the brand’s enduring reliability and longevity, proudly owned and showcased.

Over the years, HCA and Anric have established a strong working relationship founded on trust and mutual respect, driven by shared goals and effective communication. “From the initial conversations of acquiring the ZE85, factory visits, testing to scheduling a production spot and configuring a build, HCA simplified the process, delivering on their commitments,” stating Anthony.

The future looks very promising for Anric and HCA look forward to supporting Anric with on-going machine service back up and new product development.