Caterpillar rolls out electric excavator and wheeled loader prototypes for construction

Caterpillar is piloting four battery-electric prototype machines for the construction sector – two excavators and two wheeled loaders.
Bauma 2022 / October 25, 2022
The 320 excavator (pictured) and the other electric prototypes have Cat’s dedicated blue branding for electric machines 
The 320 excavator (pictured) and the other electric prototypes have Cat’s dedicated blue branding for electric machines 

The electric prototypes are the 301.9 mini excavator, 320 medium excavator, 950 GC medium wheeled loader and 906 compact wheeled loader. The machines are powered by Caterpillar battery prototypes and include an onboard AC charger. Cat says it also plans to offer an offboard DC fast charging option. All four models feature Caterpillar’s dedicated blue branding for electric machines.

In addition to construction, Cat says the 22-tonne 320 excavator is suitable for quarrying operations. It utilises five 600V Cat lithium-ion batteries that provide a total of 320kw/h electric power.  

Thierry Brasseur, Caterpillar medium wheeled loader product and applications specialist, said that this enables up to six hours’ operation before recharging is required. More demanding operations, such as trenching, will have a shorter period before recharging is necessary.

The 19.7-tonne GC wheeled loader is suitable for secondary operations in quarrying and uses four Cat 300V lithium-ion batteries for a total of 256kw/h electric power. It takes around one hour to recharge.

Both the 320 medium excavator and 950 GC medium wheeled loader can use DC fast charging.

Cat construction industries group president Tony Fassino commented, “It’s important we meet customers on their sustainability journey today with a variety of solutions including machines that run on renewable fuels or technology that increases fuel efficiency, as well as supporting them into the future as we power our next generation of machines.”

The four machines feature Caterpillar-designed batteries that will also be available to power other industrial applications. The lithium-ion battery range has a modular design to offer flexible configurations across multiple applications. Cat says the batteries are engineered to be scalable to industry and customer performance needs and maximise sustainability throughout their lifecycle, including recycling and reuse at the end of life.

“We’re focused on helping our customers achieve the optimal product and jobsite energy lifecycle, allowing them to maximise value and minimise their total cost of operation,” said Joe Creed, energy & transportation group president.

The 301.9 and 906 are expected to be the first of the four electric prototypes to become commercially available models, although specific launch dates have not yet been given.

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