Kiloutou says electric-diesel cost gap closing

Kiloutou said the cost differential between electric and engine-driven machines is closing, although the initial price of electric remains “considerably higher”.

At the fourth of its Sustainable Equipment Meetings (‘Rencontres du matériel durable’), held on 1 February, the company said a typical 2.5 tonne mini excavator will now have a lifetime total cost of ownership (TCO) only 5 to 10% higher than its diesel powered equivalent.

Kiloutou's Olivier Colleau Olivier Colleau, CEO of Kiloutou, speaking at the company's fourth Sustainable Equipment Meeting. (Photo: Kiloutou)

The rental company engaged consultant Carbone 4 to update its calculations on machine TCO in the light of higher energy costs and economies of scale in manufacturing.

The organisation found that the gap between electrically powered and conventions machines was narrowing, in particular because of a 65% increase in the cost of non-road diesel since 2020.

Kiloutou said the 5-10% gap could, however, be reversed when tax relief of GNR fuel (‘Gazole Non-Routier’ - fuel for non-road machinery) is removed on 1 January next year.

The study also revealed that the initial purchase price of electrically powered 2.5 tonne excavators remain at least 40% higher than traditional machines, although running costs are two to three times cheaper over the life of the machine.

Olivier Colleau, CEO of Kiloutou, said the meeting made it clear that maintaining its course on the energy transition was crucial in the face of the crises being faced; “However, we are evolving in an environment that is becoming more complex in the need for both acceleration and due care.

“A synchronisation and intensification of our efforts is needed over the long term. I am convinced that our community is ready to evolve and structure itself as a group capable of further trials with the solutions that emerge from the studies we have carried out so far.”

Earlier this month Kiloutou and Manitou detailed plans to retrofit diesel powered telehandlers with battery drives.

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