CAT’s fully-electric R1700 XE to be commercially available in 2022

The R1700 XE dumping a bucket of material.

The new electric R1700 XE LHD offers 100% battery-electric propulsion, producing zero exhaust emissions and less heat generation than a reciprocating engine powered model.

According to CAT, this new underground LHD matches the performance of the diesel-powered R1700.

The batteries of the R1700 XE can charge while remaining on the R1700 XE to maximize available run time.

The portable CAT MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger looks to provide quick charging for the R1700 XE. According to CAT, it will fully charge the LHD in less than 30 minutes using a single charger and less than 20 minutes using two.

Liquid cooling allows the loader’s batteries to be cool while the machine is put back in operation.

Productivity and performance

CAT claims that the RX1700 XE brings a new level of production capability to its electrified product range.

The RX1700 XE offers a lift and tilt breakout force of 24,190 kg (53,330 lb). Its advanced hydraulic performance and load-sensing pumps deliver a 13.2-second raise/dump/lower cycle time.

Also, it offers 15 tonnes (33,069 lb) payload, 18 kph (11.2 mph) fully-loaded top speed and 2.5 hours run time between charges.

In terms of attachment options, five sizes of buckets are available, including a bolt-together bucket option. The capacities of the buckets range from 5.7 to 7.5 m3 (7.5 to 9.8 yd3).

The R1700 XE picks up a bucket-full of material.

Comfort and safety

A rollover protective structure (ROPS) and falling object protective structure (FOPS) mount to the frame of the R1700 XE to isolate the operator from vibration.

Also, pressurized to mitigate dust infiltration, the cab features a new climate control system, which CAT claims will improve airflow and defrosting coverage as well as reduce noise levels.

CAT looks to provide maximum machine responsiveness and control with its steering and transmission integrated control (STIC™). This system combines directional selection, virtual gears and steering into a single level.

Furthermore, the R1700 XE features auto high and low beam lights, auto directional switching and auto boom lights.

CAT claims that the R1700 XE’s multilayered electrical safety systems can withstand the rigors of underground mining environments.

Serviceability and durability

Intrinsic to the battery-electric vehicle design, the R1700 XE has fewer parts,  which can reduce maintenance. Also, it shares strong parts commonality with the R1700, which can reduce required parts inventory.

The R1700 XE offers 250 kW (335 hp) and 226 kW (303 hp) rated peak power output. Also, CAT claims that the switch reluctance traction and auxiliary motors both offer 15,000-hour service intervals.

A seal around electrical connections locks out dust and moisture, while covers protect wire harnesses. Wires are coloured and number-coded to help facilitate easy diagnosis and repair.

The thermally stable Lithium Iron Phosphate battery system powers the electric R1700 XE LHD. According to CAT, it delivers fast charging capability and reliable performance.

Finally, the Caterpillar-engineered cooling system has new chilling cores for in attempt to maximize performance and cell life.