Caterpillar releases its first hybrid excavator

Updated On

We may collect a share of sales from items linked to on this page. Learn more.

If you thought hybrids were only meant for the personal commuter, think again. Caterpillar has announced its new line of hybrid excavators, bringing the energy-efficient technology to the construction world.

The Cat 336E H is the company’s first machine to use a novel hydraulic hybrid technology, developed internally by Caterpillar. The company says field tests have shown that this fuel efficient construction equipment will significantly lower customers’ owning and operating costs.

“The new 336E H hybrid uses as much as 25 percent less fuel than the standard 336E, without sacrificing performance. No other hybrid machine in its class in the market can achieve these dramatic savings. Since fuel is one of the largest operating costs for our customers in general, quarry and heavy construction applications, this is a technology that directly improves their bottom lines,” said Gary Stampanato, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Excavation Division.

When we think ‘hybrid’, we’re perhaps thinking of the term’s usage in typical automobile operation. However, Caterpillar defines a hybrid machine as one that is equipped with a device to collect, store and release energy during machine operation. This means that the 336E H captures energy when the machine slows down or stops, and then releases it as the machine accelerates. On a typical job site, an excavator may repeat the same cycle every several seconds, which represents a significant chance to save energy.

The official launch of the Cat 336E H occurs in April 2013 at bauma, the world’s largest construction equipment show in Munich, Germany. Cat dealers will begin taking orders in February 2013, with factory shipments beginning the following month.

What do you think? Leave a comment!