Komatsu unveils concept excavator with hydrogen fuel cell system

Komatsu has unveiled its new concept 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 POC (proof of concept) tests it started in May 2023, Komatsu has accelerated 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 minimising environmental impact throughout 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. The company is also engaged in research and development to provide products equipped with new power sources.

For this new concept machine, Komatsu has adopted a hydrogen fuel cell system and hydrogen tank 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 significant reduction in noise and vibration, while delivering the same powerful digging performance and high operability as engine-driven excavators.

Komatsu explained that medium-sized and large construction equipment both require 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 refuelled in a shorter time than is required for recharging batteries, Komatsu has been advancing its R&D efforts as a promising electrification choice for medium-sized and large models.

To contribute to realising a hydrogen society and carbon neutrality, Komatsu will continue its 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.