Komatsu’s fuel cell powered excavator

Earthmoving & soil compaction / September 26, 2023 1 minute Read
By MJ Woof
Komatsu’s innovative fuel cell excavator concept is in development

Komatsu is working on the development of a medium-sized hydraulic excavator equipped with hydrogen fuel cell system. The machine runs on hydrogen and features Komatsu-developed key components.

The firm says it has accelerated its efforts to embark on the commercial production of medium-sized and large construction equipment powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This concept machine form part of the firm’s plan to minimise environmental impact throughout its business. Komatsu is targeting a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from use of its products and production of its equipment by 2030 and a challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

For the new concept machine, Komatsu adopted a hydrogen fuel cell system and hydrogen tank, which were produced by Toyota Motor Corporation. In addition to Komatsu's comprehensive control technology, the combination of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell system and Komatsu key components, Komatsu is working towards zero exhaust emissions and a reduction in noise and vibration, while delivering the same digging performance and operability as engine-driven excavators.

Medium-sized and large construction equipment require a power source with higher energy density than that of small construction equipment, which has led to the move to electrification with batteries. Because hydrogen has a higher energy density and can be refuelled in a shorter time than is required for recharging batteries, Komatsu has been advancing this technology as a choice for medium-sized and large models. 

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