The World’s First Battery-Powered Crawler Crane Has Arrived From Liebherr

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
The Liebherr LR 1250.1 unplugged has a maximum lifting capacity of 250 metric tons.The Liebherr LR 1250.1 unplugged has a maximum lifting capacity of 250 metric tons.

While many manufacturers are introducing electric compact equipment, German manufacturer Liebherr is debuting its second electric-drive large machine: crawler cranes.

The company says its LR 1200.1 unplugged and LR 1250.1 unplugged models are the world’s first battery-powered crawler cranes. The electric-driven engines have a system performance of 255 kilowatts (341 horsepower). The LR 1200.1 unplugged has a maximum lifting capacity of 200 metric tons and the LR 1250.1 lifts 250 metric tons.

The cranes follow the company’s LB 16 electric drill rig, introduced at the Bauma trade show in 2019.

As with the 265-kilowatt (355 horsepower) electric-motor LB 16, Liebherr says a design imperative with the electric-drive cranes was that there would be no performance depreciation between them and their diesel cousins.

The charging port on the Liebherr LR 1200.1 unplugged and LR 1250.1 unplugged crawler cranes is located in the undercarriage area.The charging port on the Liebherr LR 1200.1 unplugged and LR 1250.1 unplugged crawler cranes is located in the undercarriage area.

Another key: that each machine is capable of putting in a full day’s work on one charge. On the drill, that meant a 10-hour shift; the cranes are designed to accomplish four hours of lifting operation on one charge.

The cranes can be recharged on a conventional jobsite electric supply in 4.5 hours; a 2.5-hour rapid charging option is also available. After charging, the cranes can be operated without a cable. The charging port is located in the undercarriage area, giving it ground-level access.

Liebherr says the crane batteries supply sufficient energy for the erection of the main boom with luffing jib and for traveling over a distance of about 650 meters (2,132 feet).

Liebherr also notes the crane’s “very low noise level” although no decibel levels were provided.

On the drill, Liebherr compared the unit’s battery capacity to that of seven current Tesla models, which have a driving range of roughly 1,800 miles.

The strategy used with the LB 16 drill “is a complete success”  and so now is being extended to the crawler cranes, says Gerhard Frainer, managing director for sales at Liebherr-Werk Nenzing GmbH.

“Strict requirements regarding environmental sustainability in tenders for construction projects increase the demand for advanced technologies,” Frainer says. “For us, it was clear that we extend and successfully establish the design in further product groups.”