The world’s first hybrid dozer will cost about $100,000 more, or 20%, than a comparable non-hybrid of the same size but will do more work and pay for itself in about two and a half years, say Caterpillar Inc. managers. Performance is tracking well in field trials, said the managers on June 23, as Cat rolled out the machine for press evaluation at the firm’s training facility in Edwards, Ill. The D7E starts production in October and carries a list price of $600,000, says David E. Nicoll, product execution manager. That is 20% more than the conventional D7R but 12% less than the next-highest model, D8T, he adds. “Some say it feels like it has D8 power,” Nicoll says.
Cat started work on the machine in the late 1990s to create a more efficient tractor with big-dozer power. But as emissions and energy concerns rose, the D7E’s cleaner, greener, diesel-electric drive took on even greater significance.