Caterpillar to Demonstrate 600V Powertrain in California

Jan. 17, 2024
Battery will replace diesel in a nut harvester.

Caterpillar will demonstrate a prototype 600V battery-operated field elevator in partnership with Flory Industries, a manufacturer of nut-harvesting equipment.

The 600V powertrain will replace a 74-horsepower diesel. The demonstration project will test whether the electric powertrain can deliver the performance, reliability, and durability currently provided by the diesel engine while reducing maintenance and operating with zero tailpipe emissions.

Read also: Excavators Are the First Wave of Electrification in Construction Equipment

The project will be supported by Holt of California, the local Cat dealer. Holt of California will apply its specific knowledge of Flory’s equipment architecture and duty cycles to provide day-to-day engineering, integration, and testing support.

It is the first presentation of a prototype machine by a third-party OEM using Caterpillar’s battery-powered solution, according to the company. It will also leverage Caterpillar’s expertise in evaluating system requirements; optimizing system architectures; managing system controls development, calibration, and verification; and performing final system validation.

How the Cat technology will work

The electrified powertrain will feature Caterpillar’s new prototype battery, which uses lithium-ion technology and features a modular design to boost performance while minimizing packaging. Engineers will integrate the batteries with inverters, motors, electronic controls, digital services, and other critical technologies in a power-dense solution that addresses common user concerns while demonstrating the numerous benefits.

Flory engineers will coordinate the demonstration project from the Flory Industries’ headquarters and development center in Salida, California, with support from Caterpillar and Holt of California’s teams located in the Sacramento area. An initial prototype ready for field testing by Flory is scheduled for the second quarter of 2024, with pilot units available for customers in 2025 and full production expected in 2026.

“Our customers have an intense, compressed timeline for harvesting, and they expect our machinery to work as hard as they do,” said Todd Wille, president/COO of Flory. “We’ve relied on Holt of California and Cat engines to supply superior power performance for more than two decades, which is why we’ve decided to collaborate with them on a system that anticipates the increasing requirements for lower-carbon applications in agriculture without sacrificing productivity.”

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

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