Off-road vehicles may turn out to be one of 2024’s top EV stories. The intrinsic advantages of EVs—silence, lack of local emissions, high torque—make them great choices for applications from construction to agriculture to mining.
One off-road OEM exhibiting EVs at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is Caterpillar. The iconic yellow-machine maker’s entire booth at CES is focused on electrification—the company showed Charged the 301.9 mini-excavator and the gigantic R1700 underground mining loader, which is built on a 715-volt architecture and sports a 213 kWh battery pack.
Caterpillar offers EVs both large and small, and to keep them charged, the company offers a range of portable charging solutions to match. The MEC009 is a DC charger that one person can carry. At the other end of the spectrum, the MEC500 charger requires a crane to move around—Caterpillar’s largest charger offers 500 kW of charging power at up to 700 amps. Two of these can be hooked up to the R1700’s gigantic battery to charge it from 10% to 100% in 18 minutes.