Caterpillar unveils electric drive wheel loader

cat electric drive wheel loader

Following more than four years of rigorous testing for a range of applications, Caterpillar has released the new 988K XE, the company’s first wheel loader with a high-efficiency electric drive system.

Designed for all loading applications, the 988K XE is recommended for demanding job sites where fuel efficiency makes a difference in the machine’s total cost of operation.

Featuring Switched Reluctance (SR) technology, the new loader leverages Cat’s 15 years of electric drive experience. The field proven C18 ACERT engine, mechanical dropbox, driveline and axles from the 988K remain in the electric drive machine for consistent operation.

The 988K XE increases efficiency by about 25 per cent overall, and up to 49 per cent in face-loading applications, when compared to the 988K. This reduces costs and helps operations reduce carbon footprint. At the same time, Caterpillar claims the new loader delivers up to 10 per cent higher productivity in load-and-carry applications.

Electric drive lowers upkeep costs

The 988K XE’s electric drive technology lowers overall maintenance costs, while increasing engine life expectancy. Offering extended oil change intervals of 2,000 hours, the electric drive wheel loader uses 40 per cent less powertrain oil.

The SR drive motor, generator and inverter are built to last through the second engine life with minimal maintenance. As well, the electric drive design increases engine life by up to 3,500 hours, extending time between powertrain rebuilds.

Familiar machine, more productivity

Slight changes inside the cab of the 988K XE provide operators with the familiar functions and feel of its predecessor. At the same time, operators will experience improved handling smoothness and ease of operation, the company claims. The new loader offers a single speed range, allowing the machine to efficiently operate without gear shifting. New virtual gears help to control machine ground speed and deliver smooth direction shifts.

Equipped with Cat Product Link for remote data monitoring through VisionLink, key personnel are able to stay informed of critical machine operating data.  Fuel usage, payload summaries, scheduled service reminders, fault code alerts and various productivity reports are available to help improve machine management.  Additionally, the onboard Vital Information Management System (VIMS) provides operators with data such as real-time fuel consumption and fuel efficiency via an interactive touch screen display.

Furthermore, Cat Production Measurement (CPM) brings payload weighing to the cab, so operators are able to deliver accurate loads with confidence. CPM offers advanced weighing modes, which assist with payload accuracy and increase loading cycle speed.

An optional Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a fully integrated Cat feature. Available through the VIMS display, the operator can quickly view each tire’s pressure and take action when needed to reduce wear and increase service life.