Cat announces first hybrid excavators

By WEEK Reporter

October 16, 2012 Updated Oct 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Caterpillar unveiled Tuesday the first model in its new line of hybrid excavators.

The Cat 336E H is the company's first machine to use a novel hydraulic hybrid technology developed internally by Caterpillar.

Cat says that field tests have demonstrated this machine will significantly lower customers' owning and operating costs.

"The 336 excavator – a recognized industry-leading workhorse in our product line – made the most sense as our first choice for applying the unique hybrid technology," said Gary Stampanato, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Excavation Division. "The new 336E H hybrid uses as much as 25 percent less fuel than the standard 336E, without sacrificing performance."

Caterpillar defines a hybrid machine as one that is equipped with a device to collect, store and release energy during machine operation. The 336E H captures energy when the machine slows down or stops, and then releases it as the machine accelerates.

Cat says that on a typical job site, an excavator may repeat the same cycle every several seconds, which represents a significant energy savings opportunity.