Cummins Inc. and Komatsu Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the development of zero-emissions haulage equipment. Building on a diesel engine partnership across a wide variety of mining and construction equipment, Cummins and Komatsu will initially focus on zero emission power technologies including hydrogen fuel cell solutions for large mining haul truck applications.
"Komatsu's deep expertise in mining and equipment design and integration paired with our advanced power technologies including hydrogen fuel cells will accelerate the decarbonization of mining equipment," says Amy Davis, vice president and president of New Power at Cummins. "The mining industry has great potential to lead in adopting renewable solutions."
In August 2021, Komatsu revealed its power agnostic truck concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources, including diesel-electric, trolley, battery power, and hydrogen fuel cells. Working with Cummins is complementary to Komatsu's development of the power agnostic truck.
Cummins provides an understanding that is critical to introducing products that can withstand harsh environments. Cummins has a broad portfolio of batteries, fuel cell systems, and electrolyzers (for generating hydrogen), which are key building blocks for decarbonization. Together, the two companies have a long history in the global mining market and strong technical capabilities necessary to develop these new solutions.
"Cummins has been a long-term partner of Komatsu and has been investing in the key technologies required to support the energy transition in mining," says Masayuki Moriyama, president of Komatsu's mining business division. "These are critical technologies for helping mining customers reduce carbon emissions and accelerate carbon neutrality. Building on our partnership with Cummins, we are working to accelerate sustainable solutions for our customers."
Komatsu is committed to minimizing environmental impact through its business, targeting a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from the use of its products and production of its equipment by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels) and a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Komatsu has worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for users through product development in many areas including electric diesel dump trucks, hybrid excavators, electric power excavators, regenerative energy storage capabilities, and fuel saver programs.
The mining industry has long depended on diesel-fueled engines, which have a carbon-intensive footprint to power mining equipment. Over the past decade, OEMs have been researching technologies to reduce emissions, allowing operations to put sustainability and environmental conservation at the forefront of the company's business. Electrification and hydrogen fuel cells are two of the most promising technologies to replace diesel.
The commitment made by Cummins and Komatsu is another positive step to help enhance GHG reduction solutions and advanced technologies that SMS Equipment, an OEM partner of both Komatsu and Cummins, will help bring to the market.
"At SMS Equipment, we have the application knowledge to deploy and support these smart mining technologies and ensure customers understand the various technical requirements. We assist customers so they can make the best choices for their operations," says Dillon McKinnon, manager of mining technologies for SMS Equipment.
Komatsu also created its greenhouse gas (GHG) alliance with users to actively collaborate on product planning, development, testing, and deployment of new zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure. The alliance's initial target is advancing Komatsu's power-agnostic truck concept, with a goal of commercial offering in 2030.
The collaboration with Komatsu is part of Cummins' Destination Zero strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) and air quality impacts of its products and reach net zero emissions by 2050. This commitment requires changes to Cummins' products and the energy sources that power them. Additionally, Komatsu intends to explore further possibilities in zero emissions mining haul truck development.