heavy machinery

In the next 20 years, all excavators, dozers, and other construction equipment will stop relying on diesel. Does that mean the future of heavy construction machinery is electric?

Moving Forward with Stricter Emission Guidelines

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been forcing stricter guidelines when it comes to the emission standards nonroad diesel engines use such as those on construction sites.

The new Tier 4 Final is the brand new attempt to reduce emissions. This approach is the most recent attempt to make heavy construction equipment less potent to the environment. The Tier 4 Final limits new diesel engines to near-zero emissions of nitrogen oxide and particular matter.1 So how did these massive reductions in emissions happen? Well, construction manufactures have spent years researching and developing technology to get the required levels while still providing the heavy-duty strength that customers rely on.

The heavy construction equipment industry hasn’t been the only one pushing for all-electric machinery. The auto industry has been making great strides in transitioning over to electric as well. In an effort to reduce the impact of human activities on the earth and reduce the carbon emissions, some countries are banning the sale of gas and diesel vehicles by 2030.1

Tesla is one of the bigger names that joined one of the startups to produce and develop electric vehicles. Other automakers such as GM, Volvo, and Jaguar Land Rover have promised to go all-electric or have electric versions of their vehicles over the next few years.

So, What About Manufactures of Heavy Construction Equipment?

Now that automakers are vowing to go through with all-electric models, what does that mean for manufacturers of heavy construction equipment who solely rely on diesel? At some point, we may see manufacturers implementing a change toward more environmentally-friendly, electric construction equipment, potentially banning diesel machinery outright since the construction industry is responsible for 11% of energy-related carbon emissions globally.1

It’s not unreasonable to think that the future of heavy construction machinery is electric, that the ban of diesel might happen. Some benefits include noise reduction, zero emissions, and lower cost of ownership. Until that time comes, though, we can certainly see more hybrid construction equipment soon.

Electric construction equipment can help the environment in many ways. The Safety Group Ltd. is an industry leader in occupational risk mitigation and compliance in the construction and energy industries. Contact us for environmental classes or to learn more about our New York Safety and Training.



  1. Construct Connect – Electric Dreams: Will Heavy Construction Equipment Go All-Electric?