Machine Heads Video: Exploring the Electric TB20E Compact Excavator with Takeuchi’s David Caldwell

As part of our in-depth look at the state of the electric compact excavator market, we talked with Takeuchi-US‘s David Caldwell about the company’s first electric excavator — the TB20E — in the Machine Heads video above. Electric excavators continue to be teased by major manufacturers for sale in the United States, but a select few machine makers have actually released battery-powered mini excavators into the American marketplace. One of those machine makers is Takeuchi.

The TB20e is Takeuchi’s first designed-and-built, battery-powered compact excavator for North America. In February 2022, Takeuchi partnered with United Rentals to introduce the first 100 units as a pilot program to gauge customer reaction and feedback. In 2024, these awesome e-diggers are available for sale. In this conversation, Caldwell discusses the TB20E’s capabilities, origins, battery life, versatile charging options and much more.

Takeuchi’s Battery-Powered TB20e Mini Excavator

Similar in performance to Takeuchi’s diesel-powered TB216, the TB20e is powered by a lithium-ion battery that offers four to eight hours of runtime, depending on application and environment. The excavator features an on-board charger with 95v to 265v single-phase power. When operators require additional runtime, they can even tether the TB20e to the onboard charger and remain operational. A faster, optional off-board charger can charge the TB20e in just two to four hours using 408v to 552v three-phase power. Always safety first, an emergency stop switch located on the seat riser prevents the machine from operating or charging when activated.

Inside the cab, operators will find a color, 4.3-in. high-definition, multifunction color monitor, electrohydraulic joystick controls, key start, comfortable suspension seat, traditional travel and blade control levers and an electronic dial throttle. This dial throttle increases the motor speed incrementally; however, unlike a diesel engine that gets increasingly louder as its rpms ramp up, the TB20e’s only sounds come from its motor and pumps.

Takeuchi TB20e electric excavator Working Outside Rocks

The TB20e has an operating weight of 4,255 lbs and features a standard long arm with integrated thumb mount. It has a maximum dig depth of 7 ft, 10 in. and a maximum reach of 13 ft, 4.9 in. A primary hydraulic circuit plumbed to midarm delivers 9 gpm of auxiliary flow for running a hydraulic hammer or other hydraulically driven attachments. Because the TB20e has no engine, maintaining the excavator is simple, with fewer moving parts and no need for fuel filters, engine oil, engine oil filters or coolant.

There’s so much more, so visit to learn about it or, better yet, watch the Machine Heads video above.

Wayne Greyson is the Machine Heads editor for Compact Equipment.

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