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Caterpillar Announces New Electric-Drive Track-Type Tractor

Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar Inc. last week announced it is unveiling the first innovative AC electric-drive track-type tractor in the industry. The revolutionary electric-drive system developed for track-type tractors gives the D7E balance of power, efficiency, control and maneuverability. The machine will be showcased at ConExpo 2008 March 11-15 in Las Vegas.

“The D7E offers a quantum leap in customer value through significant productivity increases and reduced owning and operating costs,” said Mark Pflederer, vice president of Caterpillar's Heavy Construction & Mining Division. “This is another example of Caterpillar’s global technology leadership and commitment to sustainable innovation, which is not only good for our customers economics, but the environment as well.”

“From an environmental sustainability perspective, the D7E uses substantially less fuel per hour — dramatically reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions,” said Stu Levenick, Caterpillar group president. “This revolutionary design consumes fewer resources over its working life than any other track-type tractor in its class. All major components are engineered to be rebuilt or reused in the future.”

The D7E is in the 60,000-pound weight range and is powered by a Cat C9 engine producing 235 hp. A traditional mechanical transmission is not needed, because the variable-speed electric motors serve the function of a continuously variable transmission. The electric drive train has 60-percent fewer moving parts compared to previous D7s. The electric system also provides power to auxiliary components so that no engine belts are needed. The C9 engine, complete with ACERT Technology, meets U.S. Tier-3 emissions standards, and the tractor has been designed with Tier 4 in mind.

With 2007 sales and revenues of $44.9 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

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