Cat powers up electric offering

By Mike Hayes27 October 2022

German Caterpillar dealer Zeppelin has unveiled four new Cat electric prototype machines at Bauma, including a fully electric 20 tonne excavator.

Cat’s 20-tonne 320 electric excavator prototype, on show at Bauma 2022

The new machines on show in Munich are:

  • The 20 tonne 320 medium electric excavator
  • The 950 GC medium electric wheeled loader
  • The 301.9 electric compact excavator
  • The 906 electric compact wheeled loader

The machines are powered by Cat’s own 48v, 300v and 600v lithium-ion batteries and the company says this demonstrates that it is now bringing its long experience with electric mining machines into play within the construction segment.

The largest of the four machines is the 320 excavator – a 20t machine that, along with Volvo’s 22t EC230 excavator, looks set to end the conversation about battery-power only being suitable for compact construction equipment.

Product specialist Alan Davies said of the new excavator, “The great thing about this is that it drives and feels like a diesel engine, so a diesel operator could jump straight on this machine and, other than the [low] noise and zero tailpipe emissions, the experience would be the same.

Cat’s prototype 950 GC electric wheeled loader

“It can dig with the same attachments, the stability on grade will be the same – that move over [to electric power] is about not giving the operator lots of different challenges.”

Davies added, “We can get up to 8 hours of operation in normal work cycles with this machine.

“Now, we need to go out now and put this onto jobsites, real-life applications, then start to evaluate those numbers, put different attachments on it and understand what impact that has.

“All of the machines have on board charging capability, and that satisfies the need for overnight or slower rate charging.”

The 320 comes with a 22kW onboard charger, which will charge the battery in between 10 and 15 hours, potentially overnight.

Davies said, “We also have a DC charge capability as well, so, if you’re able to provide 200kW of DC charge, then you’re looking at around one to one-and-a-half hours to get from 20% to 80%, which is the normal range for DC charging.”

All four of the new electric machines are currently on display on the Zeppelin booth at Bauma, with the two compact models expected to be available to the market in 2024. 

No date was given for the release of the medium excavator and wheeled loader.

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