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Cat has signalled it will unveil the Cat R1700 XE LHD battery electric vehicle later this year, after first announcing the concept in 2019.

The R1700 XE has a 15-tonne payload and a 24,190-kilogram lift and tilt breakout.

Its battery electric design enables zero engine heat or exhaust emissions with a top speed of 18 kilometres per hour.

Cat has also designed the R1700 XE to be liquid cooled to allow the batteries to stay cooler when the machine is in operation, to boost uptime availability. It also features an auto dig function to extend tyre life.

“There is a need for a clean and safe working environment underground, which currently requires installation and maintenance of complex and expensive ventilation systems for clearing exhaust emissions,” Cat stated.

“It is the first battery-powered/zero-emissions equipment for the underground hard-rock mining LHD (Load Haul Dump) product line and offers remote control operation capability.”

To keep the R1700 XE LHD performing optimally, Caterpillar will also launch the Cat MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger, which can charge the electric loader in 30 minutes using a single charger or in less than 20 minutes using two chargers.

The 1600-kilogram MEC500 Mobile Equipment Charger has been designed for fast charging, and can be moved via towing, fork truck or the R1700 XE.

The 500-kilowatt capacity charger has an adjustable output voltage and can also trickle charge the RX1700 XE’s battery, and features ISO1867 rockfall protection and IP66 rating for water and dust protection.

“It eliminates the need for regular battery handling and swapping, allowing for more efficient charging and production,” Cat stated.

The R1700 XE and MEC500 will be on display at MINExpo 2021 in September.