Snorkel begins production of lithium-powered Speed Level models

Snorkel has commenced full production of two new lithium-powered Speed Level models at its UK assembly facility, located in Washington, Tyne & Wear. These products were initially previewed at bauma 2019.

The two new models, which are branded as the Snorkel SL26RTE and SL30RTE, are completely zero emission thanks to lithium-ion battery packs with built-in battery management system (BMS), and an integrated electric powertrain developed with Hyperdrive Innovation, a Sunderland-based developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery technology for electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

According to Snorkel, the electric Speed Level models are available to order with a choice of lithium-ion battery pack configurations to suit a range of applications, including a high capacity option for long distance driving and tunnel work.

“We are pleased to have signed an official supply agreement with Hyperdrive Innovation, with whom Snorkel has worked closely with to develop a stable electric powertrain that can deliver the reliability and performance that our customers require,” said John Gill, chief manufacturing officer at Snorkel. “Following very positive feedback to our preview at bauma, the design has undergone thorough testing, both in concept and in field evaluations, and we are confident that these models will exceed our customers’ expectations.”

The use of maintenance-free lithium-ion battery packs reduces running costs by up to 95% when compared to an engine, and are shown to last up to 20 times longer than lead acid batteries. The low voltage system is easily serviced, without the need for specialist high voltage training, and has been tested in climatic chambers between -25°C and +60°C.

The zero emission lithium-ion batteries also deliver significantly less jobsite noise. For example, the new SL26RTE is 60% quieter than the existing Snorkel SL26SL, at less than 68 dB. Fitted with a 2.5 kWh 50A battery charger, the battery packs can be fully charged in less than six hours, at a significantly lower cost than the diesel equivalent.

“It’s been fantastic to partner with Snorkel on their first lithium-ion battery powered machines. To have the opportunity to collaborate with another progressive and forward-thinking business that is at the forefront of their industry is testament to our capabilities and a great example of the wave of clean growth being driven by changing legislation internationally,” said Stephen Irish, founder and commercial director at Hyperdrive Innovation.

He added, “We are delighted to secure the contract to supply the SL26RTE and SL30RTE with the very latest Hyperdrive battery technology and working to a demanding timeline, it has been a pleasure to support Snorkel to take these initial concept vehicles through the development cycle and into production.”

The Snorkel SL26RTE lift delivers a maximum platform height of 8 m, a lift capacity of 680 kg and a spacious 1.72 m x 4.6 m platform with the 0.91 m roll-out deck extension deployed. The SL26RTE weighs 3,500 kg and, available with non-marking tyres, is ideal for all types of indoor and outdoor applications. 

The larger Snorkel SL30RTE can reach a maximum platform height of 9 m, lifting a maximum platform capacity of 590 kg. Drivable at full height, the SL30RTE has a fixed platform of 1.72 m x 4.23 m and weighs 3,450 kg.

Both models share the same four-wheel drive performance, 50% gradeability and self-levelling capabilities without stabilizers up to 9° front to rear, and 13° side to side, as the original diesel-powered Snorkel SL26SL and SL30SL which are also still available to order. As of 1 January 2020, the SL26SL and SL30SL models will be rebranded as the SL26RT and SL30RT.