Komatsu announce new-concept, medium-sized hydraulic excavator powered by hydrogen fuel-cell system
KOMATSU Ltd have developed a new-concept, medium-sized hydraulic excavator that combines a hydrogen fuel-cell and Komatsu-developed key components to achieve carbon neutrality at the jobsite.
By advancing the proof of concept (PoC) tests they started in May 2023, Komatsu say they have accelerated their efforts to embark on the commercial production of medium- and large-sized construction equipment powered by hydrogen fuel-cells in the near future.
In their mid-term management plan, Komatsu committed to minimizing environmental impact throughout their business, targeting a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from use of their products and production of their equipment by 2030 (compared with 2010 levels) and a challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
To help their customers achieve carbon neutrality, Komatsu have been providing a variety of products, services, and solutions that reduce environmental impact, such as hybrid hydraulic excavators and electric mini-excavators. The company is also engaged in research and development to provide products equipped with new power sources.
For their new concept machine, Komatsu adopted a hydrogen fuel-cell system and hydrogen tank, which were produced by Toyota Motor Corporation, on a medium-sized Komatsu hydraulic excavator.
In addition to Komatsu's comprehensive control technology, the combination of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell system and Komatsu’s key components, the company is working towards zero exhaust emissions and a significant reduction in noise and vibration, while delivering the same digging performance and high operability as engine-driven excavators.
Medium-sized and large construction equipment both require a power source with higher energy density than that of small construction equipment, which has led to the move to electrification with batteries, say Komatsu.
Because hydrogen has a higher energy density and can be refuelled in a shorter time than is required for recharging batteries, the company has been advancing its R&D efforts as a promising electrification choice for medium-sized and large models.
To contribute to realizing a hydrogen society and carbon neutrality, Komatsu say they will continue their efforts towards the commercial production of medium-sized and large construction machinery equipped with hydrogen fuel-cells by conducting PoC tests of this new concept machine.