Komatsu will exhibit a 20-ton-class electric hydraulic excavator equipped with a lithium-ion battery system for the first time at bauma2022. The machine is powered by a 451 kWh lithium-ion battery system from US-based Proterra. Since January 2021, the two companies have been jointly developing electric medium-sized hydraulic excavators, and have been conducting PoC (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 FY2023.
Hydraulic excavators are the most versatile type of construction equipment, and the mid-size class, in particular, is used in a wide range of jobsites and applications, mainly in earth excavation and loading operations, requiring power and durability to withstand heavy-load work.
This model optimizes the entire body control system by capitalizing on Komatsu’s proprietary coordinating technology. 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 onboard the vehicle for its battery packs. As a result, Komatsu has achieved digging performance and durability equivalent to those of engine-driven hydraulic excavators. The high energy onboard the excavator’s Proterra Powered battery system enables operation for up to 8 hours when fully charged.
The electric power makes it possible to work comfortably in various work environments without worrying about noise and exhaust emissions, and is expected to be used for work in urban areas and nighttime construction work, etc. The zero engine vibration will also help reduce operator fatigue.