Komatsu and Proterra to showcase battery-powered hydraulic excavator at Bauma

Komatsu Ltd is to exhibit a 20-ton (18-t) class electric hydraulic excavator equipped with a lithium-ion battery system for the first time at bauma 2022, in Munich, Germany, from October 24 through 30.

The machine is powered by a lithium-ion battery system from US-based Proterra, representing the first electrically-powered solution to come out of the two companies joint development work on electric medium-sized hydraulic excavators. In addition to this, Komatsu and Proterra have been collaborating on development of battery-electric LHDs, drills and bolters for underground hard-rock mining.

Komatsu and Proterra have been conducting proof of concept tests on advance research machines at customers’ construction sites. The machine is scheduled to be introduced to the Japanese and European markets in the 2023 financial year.

Hydraulic excavators are the most versatile type of construction equipment and the mid-size class, in particular, is used in a wide range of job sites and applications, mainly in earth excavation and loading operations, requiring power and durability to withstand heavy-load work.

This model optimises the entire body control system by capitalising on Komatsu’s proprietary coordinating technology, Komatsu says. It specifically integrates Proterra’s lithium-ion battery technology, which has a proven track record for use in heavy-duty and commercial vehicles deployed in various fields around the world, with Komatsu’s components, such as the hydraulic pump, controller and electric motor, for work equipment operation.

In addition, Komatsu has developed a robust cage structure to provide additional protection on-board the vehicle for its battery packs. As a result, Komatsu says it has achieved digging performance and durability equivalent to those of engine-driven hydraulic excavators. In addition, the high energy on-board the excavator’s Proterra powered battery system enables operation for up to eight hours when fully charged.

As global awareness of climate change accelerates, Komatsu has declared to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 with the aim of realising a sustainable society. In collaboration with its partners, Komatsu is developing electric construction equipment to achieve zero exhaust gas emissions and a significant reduction in noise emissions with the vision of developing safe, highly productive, smart and clean workplaces of the future.