If anyone had any remaining doubts what the true-blue direction of the construction industry is, then news like this should solidify it for you. Electrification, as well as other alternative fueled machines, are the future. When companies the size of Caterpillar makes moves like this, it's not based on a whim, or a passing fad. With that in mind, at this year's CES 2024, Caterpillar's display will primarily focus on the new electrically powered machinery and the energy based solutions required in order to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry.
As jobsites increasingly turn towards electrification as a tool, Caterpillar wants to continue to be a leader in the sector, as they have been in others for nearly a hundred years. According to the company, their investment into this field comes from a long history of innovation, which now takes the form of things like connectivity and other digital solutions for the modern high-tech work site.
From the company's press release:
“We are delighted to return to CES to showcase our advancements in energy solutions. This event is known as the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators which makes it the ideal place for us to showcase our leadership in power systems and integrated service solutions to help our customers in the energy transition,” said Rod Shurman, Senior Vice President of Caterpillar’s Electrification + Energy Solutions division. “We’re putting our expertise to work on multiple advanced power technologies to enable the energy transition solutions that our customers need to be successful in a reduced-carbon world.”
The true centerpiece of their exhibition space will be the CAT R1700 XE LHD, which is an underground loader, offering a nearly 17 ton payload and a top speed of 11 miles per hour. The loader is zero-emission, and has an on board battery which should eliminate the need to handle or switch out any battery units.
The question on everyone's mind when it comes to new electric equipment is always centered around charging times. In that regard, the RX1700 XE LHD is capable of charging in as little as 20 minutes when it is hooked up to two of the durable and easily transported CAT MEC500 chargers. Those models are standalone energy solutions specifically engineered for quick and safe "refueling" of electric CAT equipment.
These and other Energy Storage Solutions (ESS) can be used alongside a combination of diesel, natural gas, or renewable sources of energy like solar or wind power. They are capable of storing excess power from those sources of energy, and then safely transfer its reserves when and where it is needed. For example, the XEX60 ESS will be on display at CES.
According to Caterpillars' press release: The on-board battery pack on display at CES is designed to power the 301.9 mini excavator with a total capacity of 32 kWh and a nominal voltage of 48 volt. Cat battery packs consist of a modular design with factory integrated telematics and a rugged structure to endure the use on our heavy equipment.
As Caterpillar continues to invest in job sites of the future, the company is growing its team. If you are interested in career opportunities at Cat to amplify the journey into electrification, click here for more information.