Caterpillar has rolled out its first electric drive loader, the Cat 988K XE, which it claims delivers 25% greater overall efficiency and up to 10% more productivity in load-and-carry applications compared with the 988K loader.
The Cat 988K XE’s C18 ACERT diesel engine provides power to an electric generator, which in turn provides power to the electric motor to drive the machine forward and in reverse. The linkage and actuation remain hydraulically operated, and are driven off the engine power.
Aside from the purported 25% increase in overall efficiency with the electric drive machine, the OEM assets that this figure can ruse to as much as 49% in face-loading applications, when compared to the Cat 988K – reducing costs and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.
Following the launch, Caterpillar is now recommending the use of the Cat 988K XE on all job sites where fuel efficiency represents a key consideration in the machine’s total cost of operation.
The Cat 988K XE also retains all of the proven and tested elements of the Cat 988K, including the engine, mechanical dropbox, driveline and axles – providing its performance boost while ensuring consistency of operation.
As with the Cat 988K, the new unit can equip a range of bucket capacities from 4.7m3 to 13m3. Rated standard and high lift payload for the loader reaches 11.3 tonnes when working with face material, and 14.5 tonnes with loose material.
Caterpillar has also asserted that the electric drive technology in the Cat 988K XE lowers maintenance costs and increases engine life expectancy, and has extended its oil change intervals of 2,000 hours.
According to the manufacturer, the electric drive wheeled loader also uses 40% less powertrain oil.
The electric drive motor uses switched reluctance (SR) technology, and alongside the inverter has been built to be durable and to last through the second engine life with minimum maintenance.
The design increases engine life by up to 3,500 hours, extending time between powertrain rebuilds.
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