Paving The Way For Emission-Free Machinery

With industry leaders around the world congregating at COP27 this week to tackle the climate emergency – expectations are high for the construction sector. The industry is responsible for a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse-gas emissions and although construction industry leaders have made great strides on the operational front in recent years, the Government is stepping in to provide guidance. By creating concrete plans to help slash emissions, it allows the sector to shoulder part of the risks and opportunities associated with decarbonizing the built environment.

Electrification of construction machinery

The electrification of construction machinery is making quick progress and low-emission driving, and working, is currently one of the main development goals of the construction machinery industry, with an international focus on battery-electric drives.

Last year saw a whole range of new products reaching the market, such as Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) accepting orders for its ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric wheel loader. The first of the machines offered in 13 countries have already been delivered to end customers.

5 zero-emission machines you should know about

Manufacturers are continuing to provide the sector with zero-emission vehicles and sustainable solutions. Here are five pieces of zero-emission equipment that construction contractors should know about.

1. Hitachi ZX55U-6EB mini excavator

The Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe) ZX55U-6EB micro excavator is a 5-tonne battery-powered machine that is the company’s first for the European market.

The machine is powered by lithium-ion batteries and may be linked to a CEE 400VAC 3-phase power source, allowing it to work while charging. A communication terminal allows owners to monitor battery charging status, machine location information, and electric system problems, which helps to lower life-cycle costs. The ZX55U-6EB also has lower noise levels, more efficiency, fewer maintenance requirements, and less downtime than standard models.

2. Junttan PMx2e battery-powered rig

collaboration with Danfoss, is claimed as a global first. The rig has a maximum pile length of 20 metres and two replaceable 396kWh battery packs.  The battery pack is positioned at the rear of the rig and is said to be as powerful as normal Junttan diesel-powered rigs.

PMx2e produces zero emissions and uses less energy per pile. The equipment, which is powered by a battery pack and controlled by an Editron electric motor, is thought to emit less noise pollution than a diesel-driven rig. 

3. Volvo EC230 crawler excavator

The 22-tonne EC230 is Volvo CE’s first electric zero-local-emissions crawler excavator, developed in China. The machine is powered by four 66kW lithium-ion batteries that can last up to eight hours, and it is based on the diesel-powered EC220E. It is fully compatible with a Combo2-Plug, a global standard combination DC charging solution for electric vehicles up to 500kW.

4. Wacker Neuson DT10e track dumper 

With a payload of 1,000kg and a fully electrical engine, the DT10e track dumper by Wacker Neuson is said to be ideal for indoor projects. Like the EC230, its battery lasts up to eight hours when fully charged. The company say that under maximum load, the battery lasts for 3.5 hours. The machine has three electric motors, two for the engine which perform at 2kW and one for the gear pump drive system.

5. JCB 525-60E compact telehandler

The 525-60E compact telehandler from JCB is available as part of the company’s electric E-TECH range. The 2.5-tonne machine, which has been redesigned from the diesel predecessor, has a 2,500kg lifting capacity, a maximum lift height of 6m, and is said to reduce noise and environmental effect. It is outfitted with a 24kWh lithium-ion battery from Jungheinrich, which can be fully charged in eight hours using a 3kW on-board charger.

Manufacturers are under pressure

Sustainability, like in other businesses, has risen to the top of the agenda. Manufacturers are under increasing pressure from investors, regulators, customers, and even their own employees to improve their sustainability performance, specifically by lowering carbon emissions and paying more attention to product circularity.

If you’re looking to invest in electric fleet for your business, Full Metal Finance can help.  We have a variety of finance solutions available, from refinancing existing machinery, to securing a fixed rate hire purchase agreement.  Whatever your circumstances, we’re a full-service broker focusing on an industry surrounded by metal. 

We are also accredited to offer the Government-backed business finance scheme which was launched to support the UK’s small-to-medium businesses with financial support due to the impact of COVID-19.  You can borrow up to £2m which is available as a cash loan for new asset purchases or refinancing existing assets, over a 1 -6 year term.

Get in touch with one of our team today.

Construction 2025- What Does It Mean?

In 2013, the HM Government published the ‘Construction 2025’ report, laying out plans and goals for the UK construction industry to achieve by 2025. It’s a 78-page report that goes into every detail of the 12-year plan. Sound interesting?

It may not sound like the most enthusiastic read, but luckily, we’re all mad about construction at Full Metal Finance, so we’ve analysed and condensed it into a digestible article just for you.

What are the goals and plans?

The report details five areas of development that would benefit the construction industry the most, those being:


This plan will come from two areas. The first is to change the industry’s perception in the public eye, as it currently has the reputation of being lazy and slow.

The second is to improve our British construction labour force through training and creating higher standards. These points work hand in hand, as more skilled labour will create a better reputation, and a better reputation will bring in more competent workers. The government believes a reasonable goal is to lower the average time to complete a construction project by 50%.

Smart (Technology)

‘Smart,’ or technology, is self-explanatory. The government plans to invest more in research and development to create a more efficient and advanced industry. The report notes that the goal is to reduce the overall cost of construction by 33%.


Sustainable construction will emerge from the use of greener materials and processes. Innovation is vital for this to happen. So, the sustainability plan relies heavily on the ‘smart’ plan. The government’s goal for sustainability is to reduce construction-related greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.


Growth is an ambiguous term. In this case, the report refers to both the growth of the UK macroeconomy, through more exports and fewer imports, and that of the local economy to overcome the challenges from the forecasted rise in population (water, transport, power, etc.).

The goal here is a 50% cutback in the 2013 trade gap (the gap between the number of imports versus exports).


The leadership plan is in place to help implement these goals, working with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to achieve the four goals above.

Are we on track?

In short, no. This comes down to several factors:

– It’s the UK. The government has been setting construction goals like this since 1934 at the Construction Industry Reports with little success.

– Climate change fears have been rising, with the Climate Change Act now being taken more seriously. The act looks to achieve a carbon net zero by 2050, so governments are dedicating more of their attention to achieving this while forgetting about previous goals.

– The COVID-19 outbreak brought the UK economy (and almost all economies) to a standstill. Covid caused a setback for all of the UK’s objectives, not just Construction 2025’s.

 Hope is not all lost!

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are predicted to become some of the most dominant tools in construction soon. It is still unknown whether that is before 2025, but it will happen. With the help of these tools, the construction industry will not only be able to meet the goals set in Construction 2025 but may improve way beyond our wildest imaginations.

What does this mean for you?

Technological advancements can be pretty intimidating, especially as they can change an entire industry overnight (precisely what happened when smartphones came into the world). What we have seen is companies that have money, or are at least willing to spend it to stay competitive, are the ones that survive.

At Full Metal Finance, we’re here to take some of that stress off your shoulders. New technology can be costly to pay in full, so we’ve pledged to keep up with the industry’s technological changes and provide affordable financial solutions.

But why wait? Prepare your company for these future changes by building your enterprise now. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you build your dream.

Schemes To Help Contractors Adjust To The Red Diesel Ban Gain Funding

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on reducing carbon emissions and addressing climate change, especially with the implementation of the UN Paris agreement in 2015, whereby all parties should achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As a result, the UK government has created various policies and initiatives to achieve these goals, including the recent ban on red diesel, which came into effect in April 2021.

What is Red Diesel?

Red diesel is used in non-road vehicles and machinery, such as tractors and construction equipment. Named for its distinctive red colour, which comes from a red dye added to regular white diesel to differentiate it, the use of red diesel has traditionally been allowed due to a lower tax rate.

The red diesel ban means businesses using non-road vehicles and machinery must now switch to using white diesel, which is taxed far more. This change will significantly impact contractors and construction companies, as they rely heavily on non-road vehicles and machinery to carry out their work.

What is being done to help?

To help businesses adjust to the red diesel ban, the UK government has announced various schemes to provide financial support and assistance. These schemes are designed to help companies to transition to white diesel and invest in more environmentally friendly equipment and machinery. Some examples include:

Red Diesel Replacement Competition

One of the primary schemes is the Red Diesel Replacement Competition. It is a government led competition rewarding the applicants with the best red diesel replacement projects. There have been two phases of this, with the first phase providing £6.7 million of funding for 17 different projects, most of which are based on sourcing hydrogen-based fuel alternatives.

The second phase began at the start of 2023, with a larger funding pot of £32.5 million. Funding applications are now open, so if you have any off-road green alternative projects underway, follow the application process here.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund will provide £40 million in grants to support projects that create jobs and promote environmentally friendly practices in the construction sector. This fund is part of the government’s wider plan to make a green economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to these schemes, the government has also introduced tax breaks and incentives to encourage businesses to invest in cleaner, more efficient equipment and machinery. For example, companies can claim a 130% tax relief on qualifying investments in new plants and machinery under the Super Deduction scheme. However, this scheme ends on 31 March 2023, so get your purchases in quickly!

How has this been received by the industry?

These schemes and initiatives have been welcomed by contractors and construction companies, who have expressed concerns about the impact of the red diesel ban on their businesses. Many businesses have already started to take steps to adapt to the new regulations, such as investing in more efficient machinery and exploring alternative fuels. Still, the financial support provided by these schemes will undoubtedly make the transition easier.

However, some have argued that the government could do more to support businesses affected by the red diesel ban. For example, many have called for the government to provide further funding for research into alternative fuels and to offer more generous tax incentives for businesses that invest in cleaner, more efficient equipment.

What does this mean for you?

The push towards a greener construction industry is well underway, with more funding expected. So, now is the time to prepare for the future by looking into greener solutions. Although it may seem like a significant initial investment, the savings from fuel usage will be huge, and that initial investment can be made far less intimidating with our support.

At Full Metal Finance, we strive to provide as much value as possible. As a team with a wealth of experience in construction asset finance, we understand the struggles of buying new kits, especially with the current state of inflation.

Our Account Directors can talk you through your options from hire purchase and finance lease to refinancing old kit or releasing capital with cashflow finance. We’ll work to find a solution with terms that work for you and your business.

If you’re on board with a greener future for construction and want to invest in it, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.