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Biggest Takeaways from CONEXPO 2020

Becky Schultz
Chief Editor
Equipment Today Magazine

Access 101

Biggest Takeaways from CONEXPO 2020

Expert Q&A - Apr 20

What was the "hot topic" at CONEXPO this year? How did different manufacturers address it?

The hot topic at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 was definitely the move to showcase alternative power sources with a particular focus on battery-powered systems. The advances in lithium ion and other battery technologies enable improved performance, enhanced reliability and longer runtimes than previously possible. A number of manufacturers featured concept or prototype electric equipment in their exhibits, while engine suppliers showcased the latest hybrid engine and component designs in the IFPE exhibit area.

How was this year's CONEXPO different from previous years?

Outside of the concerns related to the coronavirus and the relatively minor impact on attendance (all things considered), this year’s CONEXPO featured a “split” show due to construction at the LVCC. Being more spread out created logistical challenges but didn’t seem to take away from the enthusiasm on the show grounds. Many exhibitors commented on the quality of conversations taking place and the high level of interest in the newest equipment and technology. While the show was cut short by a day, most exhibitors and attendees came away with a positive experience and hopefully a positive outlook for the industry’s long-term outlook.

What did you feel was the biggest takeaway from CONEXPO 2020?

To me, the biggest takeaway was that the construction industry is advancing rapidly toward new alternatives that can increase efficiency and cut owning and operating costs. Electrification and hybrid technology are no longer viewed strictly as a “sustainable” alternative. Suppliers are moving toward alternative power sources, and obvious interest in it is evidence of this. Both manufacturers and their customers are seeking solutions that can reduce dependence on fuel fossils, thereby cutting costs of operation while addressing demands for low or no emissions and low-noise equipment. While still perceived as “niche” machines for select job site environments, hybrid and battery-powered solutions are becoming increasingly viable and will become more so as economies of scale continue to drive their costs down. What was once seen as a decade or more away for many equipment forms even three years ago now promises to become commonplace in the foreseeable future.


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