BAE Systems and Caterpillar sign 20-year agreement

BAE Systems will integrate the Cat CX family of transmissions into its HybriDrive parallel propulsion system.


BAE Systems and Caterpillar Inc. have signed a long-term supply agreement to collaborate on an energy efficient parallel hybrid propulsion system for heavy duty trucks. Under the 20-year agreement, BAE Systems will integrate the Cat CX family of transmissions into its HybriDrive parallel propulsion system, and will establish an aftermarket field services model leveraging Caterpillar's vast global service network to support the growing installed base.

The parallel system – the latest member of BAE Systems' HybriDrive family – complements and draws upon the company's proven HybriDrive series system, currently deployed in more than 3,800 transit buses across the globe. The system, which can improve fuel economy by an average of 30 percent, is designed for heavy-duty truck applications that include refuse collection, construction, pick-up and delivery, and utility vehicles.

The long-term supply agreement helps to ensure a consistent supply of transmissions from Caterpillar; long-term production pricing schedule; a warranty agreement; and a field service support model designed to make use of Caterpillar's well-established global network.

"This agreement brings two industry leaders together to provide a product that will surpass marketplace expectations for cost, performance and support," said Steve Trichka, general manager of HybriDrive Solutions for BAE Systems. "Building upon our initial relationship to develop the parallel hybrid electric system, this supply agreement cements Caterpillar as a key supplier and partner on a system that will lower fuel and ownership costs and emissions for fleet owners."

"Through this alliance, our transmission will become an integral part of BAE Systems' new HybriDrive parallel system," said Jeff Pohl, Hauling & OEM Drivetrains Product Manager for Caterpillar. "Our driveline expertise, including planetary automatic transmission expertise, combined with BAE Systems' proven hybrid technology, will result in a seamlessly integrated product that meets performance and efficiency demands of vehicles that operate in diverse duty cycles."

The Cat CX family of transmissions delivers reliable performance, rugged durability, fuel economy and Cat product support necessary for on- and off-highway applications. Caterpillar designs and manufactures integrated powertrain systems that maximize vehicles' versatility and transmission performance.

The HybriDrive parallel system will integrate with "big-bore" and heavy-duty diesel engines. The system is suitable for vehicles from 19,500 to 80,000 lbs. total gross vehicle weight. The parallel system will deliver significant environmental benefits by lowering emissions, reducing fuel consumption and lowering noise pollution in the field.

Recent field tests in spring 2011 revealed that trucks powered by the HybriDrive parallel system experienced an average fuel economy improvement of 30 percent when compared to diesel engine trucks. While the fuel ratings were experienced across a range of standard driving cycles, the system performed best on stop-and-go cycles where average speed is between five and 20 miles per hour, making it an optimal choice for refuse collection and delivery trucks. Based on duty cycles and fuel usage, a truck fleet owner who uses the HybriDrive parallel system can expect payback within three to five years.

The HybriDrive parallel system is in final stages of development and is expected to be deployed in markets around the world early in 2013.

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