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First electric drive wheel loader joins Cat lineup

Caterpillar recently expanded its large wheel loader lineup with the new Cat® 988K XE, the company’s first wheel loader with a high-efficiency drive system. The new loader is more than 90 percent identical to the 988K, with an electric-drive system designed to make it the ideal choice for high-capacity applications.

Caterpillar used the 998K’s proven and tested Cat 18 ACERT™ engine, mechanical dropbox, driveline and axles — along with the manufacturer’s more than 15 years of electric drive experience — to build the 988K XE. Prior to launch, the wheel loader went through more than 4 years of stringent testing in a range of applications to prove its reliability.

Increased efficiency is the key benefit of the electric-drive system, with the 988K XE boosting efficiency by 25 percent overall — and up to 49 percent in face-loading applications — when compared to the 988K. These efficiency gains reduce overall costs, fuel usage, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint. Meanwhile, Caterpillar production studies report the new loader delivers up to 10 percent higher productivity in load-and-carry applications.

The new loader features switched reluctance (SR) technology. The durable SR drive motor, generator and inverter are built to last through the second engine life with minimum maintenance. Additionally, the electric drive design increases engine life by up to 3,500 hours, extending time between powertrain rebuilds.

To help its customers see how the engine, generator, integrated powered electronics and motor work in the new 988K XE, Caterpillar developed this video animation.

Wheel Loaders / Electric Drive
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