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 job sites. By advancing the proof of concept tests it started in May 2023, Komatsu will accelerate its efforts 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 says that it's 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 challenging target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. To help its users 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 control technology, the combination of Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell system and Komatsu's components, Komatsu is working toward zero exhaust emissions and a significant reduction in noise and vibration.
Medium-sized and large construction equipment requires a power source with a higher energy density than that of small construction equipment. Because hydrogen has a higher energy density and can be refuelled 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 proof of concept tests of this new concept machine.