After taking over Cifa, Zoomlion has ‘feathered its Italian nest’, for the all terrain crane made in Italy. Yes, because the RTC500 is conceived and assembled here, just a few kilometers from Garda Lake .

It’s called the RTC500, it’s from Zoomlion, and it’s born in Italy

And this machine has a combustion engine. What struck us is this. Having a Chinese mother company does not necessarily mean applying battery packs everywhere. As Andrea Meneghetti, Zoomlion Italy technical manager, made explicit, “We chose the Cummins B6.7, 129 kW at 2,200 rpm and 800 Nm at 1,400 rpm. Cummins is well-established in lifting, from Stage III to Stage V, also for the optimization of the engine layout and excellent service.” What about electrification? “We are trying to figure out how to combine an electric or hybrid version for such a product. There are prototype solutions. We are delving into the power harnessed.” This is the crux of the matter, we point out. To tailor an electric drivetrain, you need to understand what work cycle the machine has, at what speeds it works, and what power it actually draws. They deal with this both with remote telemetry systems and with instrumentation directly on the crane. Meneghetti continues, “the user profiles are very different, from the user in site support to the one who needs more rapid handling The solutions exist, you have to find the right combination.”

Where can I find the batteries?

For example on the AC-Li Series mobile scissor platforms. The technology is the well-established lithium-ion technology, exceeding 15 meters in height with a 350-kg basket load. Marco Polastri, Sales, Aftersales & Marketing Director of Zoomlion Italy: “The choice of propulsion type depends on the applications. Some construction sites specifically require ICE, of the rest as certain technical performance. Lithium represents the best technology for maintenance, management and machine storage. Zoomlion’s electric machine fleet is 100% ion-lithium, following the phaseout of lead-acid batteries.”


Diesel peeps here, too. Even on the aerial platforms, which would seem to be channeled in the one-way direction of electrification, signs of life are coming from the endothermic. All diesel engines are signed by Kubota. On the ZA14J, for example, the 36 kW V2403 at 2,600 rpm.

Being ecumenical, agnostic, rational

The bottom line we take home from the Zoomlion plant is that even where battery cells are designed, where there is a near monopoly of this technology, solutions must be diversified and designed according to the machine that uses it. It would seem simple, but it is not so trivial.


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