Caterpillar demonstrates first battery electric Cat 793 truck

Caterpillar’s Early Leaning program customers with the new Cat 793 battery electric truck. Tucson, Arizona.

Caterpillar is calling its demonstration of its first battery electric truck, the Cat 793, a success. The company debuted the truck at its Tucson, Arizona, proving ground earlier this month.

Caterpillar completed development of its first battery electric 793 prototype with support from mining customers participating in Caterpillar’s early learner program. Participants of the program with definitive electrification agreements include BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont, Rio Tinto, and Teck Resources.

Early learner customers came together to witness a live demonstration of Caterpillar’s prototype battery truck on a 7-km course. During the event, Caterpillar monitored over 1,100 data channels, gathering 110,000 data points per second, to validate simulation and engineering modelling capabilities. Fully loaded to its rated capacity, the truck achieved a top speed of 60 km/h. The loaded truck travelled 1-km up a 10% grade at 12 km/h. The truck also performed a 1-km run on a 10% downhill grade, capturing the energy that would normally be lost to heat and regenerating that energy to the battery. Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles. 

Launched in 2021, the early learner program focuses on accelerating the development and validation of Caterpillar’s battery electric trucks at participating customers’ sites, with the aim to aid the individual commitments each early learner participant has made to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from their operations. 

The company says a primary objective of the program is for Caterpillar to collaborate more closely with its customers as the industry undergoes transformational change through the energy transition.

“Our global team came together to develop this battery truck at an accelerated pace to help our customers meet their sustainability commitments,” said resource industries group president Denise Johnson. “This demonstration is a significant milestone, and we are excited for these trucks to get to work at customers’ sites around the world in the near future.”

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