Cat to Develop Hydrogen-Hybrid Engine for Off-Highway Equipment


Nov. 20, 2023 - Caterpillar has launched a three-year program to demonstrate an advanced hydrogen-hybrid power solution based on its new Cat C13D engine platform.

Starting in the first quarter of 2024, Caterpillar will develop a transient-capable system for off-highway applications.

The project will demonstrate how state-of-the-art control systems and electric-hybrid components can help hydrogen-fueled engines perform as well as or better than traditional diesel-fueled engines.

As the project’s prime contractor, Caterpillar provide engine research and development as well as system integration.

As the project progresses, other industry and academic collaborators will provide specialist expertise.

The initiative will be delivered at Caterpillar facilities in Chillicothe, Illinois, and San Antonio, Texas.

The project is supported and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

It is one of 45 projects across 18 states and Washington, D.C., receiving funding to advance research, development, demonstration, and deployment in several areas critical to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector.

The hydrogen-hybrid power demonstration project is the latest initiative that builds on Caterpillar’s 35 years of experience with hydrogen fuels.

“Every off-highway application has its own unique duty cycles, lifecycle demands, and performance expectations, and this complexity is driving the development of a wide range of power solutions for the energy transition,” said Steve Ferguson, senior vice president of Caterpillar Industrial Power Systems. “One size does not fit all, which is why we’ve engineered flexibility into the C13D engine to serve as our platform of the future.”

The hydrogen-hybrid demonstration project takes advantage of the performance, packaging, and fuel flexibility that Cat has engineered into the new 13-liter C13D engine.

Unveiled at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 construction exhibition in March, diesel-powered versions of the Cat C13D engine offer eight power ratings from 456 to 690 hp (340 to 515 kW) with up to 3,200 Nm (2,360 lbf) of peak torque.

It provides up to 20% more power and up to 25% more low-speed torque than previous Cat diesel engines in its power class.

The inline, six-cylinder Cat C13D can use renewable liquid fuels, such as 100% HVO, B100 Distilled Biodiesel, and even up to B100 Standard Biodiesel.

To retain the engine’s performance and integrity while reducing the risk of downtime or failure, fuels must meet the specifications and characteristics described in Caterpillar’s official fluids guidelines found on

In addition to using hydrogen, the C13D is designed so that in the future it may be able to run on spark-ignited natural gas.

Available for early OEM pilot projects in 2025 and scheduled for production in 2026, the Cat C13D engine is targeted for a wide range of off-highway equipment, including rock crushers, screeners, and grinders; trenchers; agriculture tractors, harvesters, self-propelled sprayers and woodchippers; material-handling equipment; and large industrial pumps.

For more details on Caterpillar’s comprehensive range of solutions supporting a lower carbon future, visit


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