Komatsu has developed a concept machine for a medium-sized hydraulic excavator that combines a hydrogen fuel cell and Komatsu-developed key components to achieve carbon neutrality at workplaces of construction equipment. By advancing the Proof of Concept (PoC) tests it started in May 2023, Komatsu will accelerate its efforts to embark on the commercial production of medium-sized and large construction equipment powered by hydrogen fuel cells in the near future.
In its mid-term management plan, Komatsu committed to minimizing environmental impact through its business, targeting a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from use of its products and production of its equipment by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels) and a challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. To help its customers achieve carbon neutrality, Komatsu has been providing a variety of products, services and solutions that reduce environmental impact, such as hybrid hydraulic excavators and electric mini excavators. Komatsu is also engaged in research and development to provide products equipped with new power sources.
For the new concept machine, Komatsu adopted a hydrogen fuel cell system and hydrogen tank, which were produced by Toyota, on Komatsu’s medium-sized hydraulic excavator. In addition to Komatsu’s comprehensive control technology, the combination of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell system and Komatsu key components, Komatsu is working toward zero exhaust emissions and a significant reduction in noise and vibration, while delivering the same powerful digging performance and high operability as engine-driven excavators.
Medium-sized and large construction equipment requires a power source with higher energy density than that of small construction equipment, which has led the move to electrification with batteries. Because hydrogen has a higher energy density and can be refueled in a shorter time than recharging batteries, Komatsu 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 will continue its efforts toward the commercial production of medium-sized and large construction machinery equipped with hydrogen fuel cells by conducting PoC tests of this new concept machine.
Komatsu develops and supplies technologies, equipment and services for the construction, mining, forklift, industrial and forestry markets. For a century, the company has been creating value for its customers through manufacturing and technology innovation, partnering with others to empower a sustainable future where people, business and the planet thrive together. Front-line industries worldwide use Komatsu solutions to develop modern infrastructure, extract fundamental minerals, maintain forests and create consumer products. The company’s global service and distributor networks support customer operations to enhance safety and productivity while optimizing performance.
IMAGE (above): Concept picture of Komatsu’s hydrogen-powered medium-sized hydraulic excavator. Credit: Komatsu.