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Zero-emission excavators from Liebherr

Liebherr R 976-E electric crawler excavator

R 976-E and R 980 SME-E electric crawler excavators designed for robustness, reliability and cost-effectiveness

THE new Liebherr R 976-E electric and R 980 SME-E crawler excavators replace the ER 974 B machine for mine and quarry extraction. Developed and produced entirely by Liebherr-France SAS in Colmar, these latest electric machines are not just converted diesel excavators, but have been designed and produced using a tried and tested electric power system based on more than 40 years of Liebherr experience.

Capable of withstanding extreme working conditions, the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E weigh 90 and 100 tonnes, respectively, and are available in backhoe and faceshovel versions. According to Liebherr, the machines stand out for their low noise levels, optimum versatility and zero CO2 emissions during operation.


The electric system in the new Liebherr R 976-E 400kW crawler excavator is supplied with power via a cable connection, with the cable inlet located in the centre of the undercarriage, or on the sides if requested. A motorized cable drum is also available as an option.

The machine is powered by a high-voltage 6,000V/50 Hz current collector, whilst a switch cabinet transformer (high voltage/low voltage) and a low-voltage cabinet for power distribution and control of 690V, 230V and 24V networks are located on the upper structure.

The technology used in the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E is said to offer a host of advantages. For example, thanks to its constant speed whatever the load, an excavator with an electric engine has a longer service life. Also, the high availability of transient power for complex machine movements ensures very high productivity.

The R 976-E’s low-voltage electric squirrel-cage engine drives the hydraulic system. The engine features heat shielding on bearings and motor windings. Integrated into a frame with a reinforced flange, it allows safe, soft starting.

The two robust electrical cabinets are assembled by welding into a structure specifically designed to withstand extreme working conditions. The lockable and watertight (IP 65) doors are fitted with safety switches and an emergency stop. The high-voltage cabinet is a dedicated contact for power connection and voltage transformer, while the low-voltage cabinet is used for power connection monitoring.

In line with their commitment to ecology and sustainability, Liebherr guarantee zero pollutant gas emissions from the new machines, whilst reduced maintenance and lower operating costs make the electric excavators more cost-effective than a diesel-engine machine.

For greater operator comfort and safety, the R 976-E and R 980 SME-E are extremely quiet and feature a spacious cab equipped with an automatic permanent air-conditioning and heating system, whilst the exterior has a 270° camera system plus an armoured windscreen and roof window.


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