Joint PoC verification tests to start for electrification of Komatsu excavators

Published 9/3, 2021 at 15:55

Komatsu Ltd. has signed a collaboration agreement with Proterra Inc. of the United States for the supply of Proterra’s industry leading battery systems, with the aim being to electrify Komatsu’s small and medium sized hydraulic excavators.

Komatsu plans to advance the PoC (Proof of Concept) tests starting in 2021 and enter commercial production of its electric excavators in 2023 to 2024.

Proterra is a leader in commercial vehicle electrification technology. Through its ‘Proterra Powered’ programme, the company delivers its battery systems and electrification solutions to help heavy duty and commercial vehicle manufacturers around the world electrify their vehicles. In April 2020, Komatsu launched the PC30E-5 electric mini excavator, whilst for its small and medium sized models, Komatsu is going to receive high performance batteries and peripherals which Proterra has developed with its state of the art technology. This know how has been acquired over the years with Proterra being said to be North America’s leading manufacturer of electric transit vehicles. Hence, Komatsu is set to collaborate with Proterra as one of its strategic partners in the PoC tests. 

In the course of PoC tests, Proterra and Komatsu will develop an optimal battery system for small and medium sized hydraulic excavators which require a large amount of output. Proterra’s flexible battery platform leverages what is said to be industry leading energy density and are highly customisable; an important advantage of the batteries that enables Komatsu to achieve optimal packaging in excavators by combining them with Komatsu developed key components. Komatsu also expects to generate additional benefits by integrating its partner’s technology with its own, such as integral technology for the development of machine bodies.

Komatsu has been at the forefront of the industry by developing products designed to contribute to mitigating environmental impact, as represented by its hybrid hydraulic excavators launched in 2008. These are said to be the world’s first hybrid construction equipment on the market, with its PC30E-5 electric mini excavator launched for the domestic rental equipment market.

Under its three year mid-term management plan (FY2019 – FY2021), Komatsu is working to achieve sustainable growth through a positive cycle of improving earnings and solving ESG issues. Komatsu also upholds the targets of reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (starting from 2010). To this end, Komatsu is working to supply high quality, high efficiency products, service and solutions designed to mitigate environmental impact in response to climate change and improve safety.

As the concerns over climate change accelerate around the world, Komatsu is making full use of its accumulated technologies for hybrid construction equipment and electric mini excavators. Komatsu will also advance collaboration with its various strategic partners. In this manner, Komatsu will develop electric construction equipment which features zero exhaust gas and major reduction of noise, while achieving excavation performance on par with engine powered models. While continuing its commitment to quality and reliability, and working to maximise its corporate value, Komatsu is working to achieve safe, highly productive, smart and clean work places of the future.

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