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Electric Off-Highway Vehicles: The Lowdown
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Electric Off-Highway Vehicles: The Lowdown

As more and more drivers move to electric commuting vehicles, it’s only natural to see a similar trend in the commercial off-road machine industry. It’s also, though, a common worry that electric powered machines might not have what it takes to complete the high-powered tasks their operators depend on them for.

Always abreast of industry trends, BSM North America, your Burnsville provider of custom steering columns, is here with our take. Below you’ll find a few advantages and disadvantages to the electric OHV trend.

Benefits of Electrification

Make no mistake, this engineering trend is a trend for a reason; electric or hybrid electric vehicles bring quite a bit to the table. For one, they’re often quieter than their diesel counterparts. This, of course, means worker hearing on the job is less put at risk, but it also cuts down on a major environmental strain: noise pollution. Check out this article by National Geographic to learn about its harmful effects on wildlife.

Secondly, they of course reduce fuel emissions, which is another environmental boone. Given that, globally, there is a shift towards banning the use of diesel or gasoline vehicles in some areas, a growing market for electric alternatives seems to be on the horizon.

Finally, especially with hybridization and additional hydraulics usage, they show potential to reduce energy costs.

Challenges That Come With Implementation

When all those benefits are lined up, it’s a bit tricky to see why the off-highway industry at large hasn’t yet moved to electric vehicles as a whole. But there are indeed challenges with implementing such a change—and not just in making the machines with commercial machining and industrial fabrication.

The lack of infrastructure is a large barrier to the widespread use of such vehicles. With the absence of the massive charging stations they would need, there’s no way that large-scale use of these machines would be viable.

Secondly, the affordability of such infrastructure also hinders widespread adoption. Where would this money come from? How would the infrastructure be brought to rural or otherwise remote locations where industrial tasks still take place?

Finally, the longevity of the machines’ batteries is a challenge that current industry professionals tussle with, as the way the battery of an off-highway machine needs to operate is quite different than that of a passenger vehicle.

BSM North America: Off-Road Steering Columns for Off-Road Machines of All Types

Whether you use electric or traditional, one thing is for certain: BSM North America is your one-stop shop for all your steering needs. Give our Burnsville office a call today at 952-890-8146.

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