Caterpillar, CRH Agreement to Deploy Electric Off-Highway Trucks, Charging Systems

One of Caterpillar's electric mining trucks

(Credit: Caterpillar)

by | Jan 11, 2024

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Caterpillar has signed a strategic agreement with CRH to advance the deployment of its battery electric off-highway trucks and charging systems.

The agreement will bring Caterpillar’s 70- and 100-ton trucks to a CRH site in North America, where they will be tested and validated in real-world applications as a part of Caterpillar’s Early Learner program. CRH will provide feedback in terms of safety, performance, operations, and compliance requirements.

“We are pleased to work with CRH, as our first aggregates industry customer, to expand our electrification solutions beyond mining,” said Denise Johnson, president of the Resource Industries Group at Caterpillar. “When it comes to sustainability, the quarry and aggregates industry requires diverse solutions. Our collaboration with CRH is an exciting opportunity to learn together and gain valuable insights into how our products can best support CRH’s long-term objectives to decarbonize its operations.”

Caterpillar, which has developed a number of battery electric mining truck prototypes, aims to make all of its new products through 2030 more sustainable than its previous generation and is working to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from its operations by 30% by 2030.

Companies Attempt to Address Carbon Impact from Construction

The construction sector is a leading contributor to climate change, with the built environment responsible for about 40% of overall global emissions.

Efforts to electrify off-highway trucks are underway to address one aspect of these emissions, as most currently operate using diesel fuel. Electrifying off-highway trucks reportedly presents a fairly difficult task compared to developing typical, on-road EVs since they have to withstand extreme environments, handle shock and vibration, and maintain a high degree of reliability.

That being said, electrifying construction vehicles and other off-highway vehicles may provide benefits beyond emissions reductions alone. For example, electric batteries contain fewer mechanical failure points compared to an internal combustion engine and can be more precisely controlled.

CRH is reportedly taking on the new agreement as a part of its objective to reduce operational emissions by using sustainable equipment, working to be a net-zero business by 2050. Testing Caterpillar’s trucks may bring both companies a step closer to their respective sustainability goals.

“At CRH, we recognize that collaboration and innovation are critical to delivering our industry-leading decarbonization targets and achieving our ambition of net zero by 2050,” said Scott Parson, president of CRH Americas Materials Solutions. “Through this partnership with Caterpillar, we will advance the use of sustainable equipment in our operations and build on our shared commitment to a low-carbon future.”

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