Komatsu’s Sustainable Electric Excavators

  • Editorial Team
  • Excavators
  • 31 May 2023

Komatsu, a leading corporation in the construction industry, is actively developing innovative and environmentally friendly solutions to reduce carbon emissions. In addition to its long-standing focus on hybrid machines, Komatsu is now delving into electrification. At Con Expo-Con/Agg 2023, they showcased a range of electrified machines that will soon be available on the market. Among them, the 20-ton PC210E excavator served as the centerpiece, along with the PC01E micro excavator, the PC30E tiny excavator, and an electric version of the WA70 wheel loader. Komatsu aims to offer multiple solutions and products to meet the evolving needs of their customers.

PC30E Electric Compact Excavator: Quiet and Emission-Free

The PC30E electric compact excavator is designed for various work environments, including indoor carbon-neutral operations, urban construction, and landscaping. It operates solely on electricity, eliminating vibrations and emissions. The machine’s quiet operation makes it suitable for job sites where noise consideration is quite necessary, such as residential areas or near hospitals. With an 18.2 kW electric motor, the PC30E offers performance on par with its diesel-powered counterpart.

Charging Options and Maintenance Simplicity

The PC30E can be charged overnight or through a rapid charging option that fills the machine up to 80% capacity, increasing productivity. The absence of air filters, engine oil, and refueling requirements simplifies maintenance, significantly reducing daily inspection and maintenance labor. Operators familiar with conventional PC30 excavators can easily operate the electric variant. Work attachments used with the PC30 conventional excavator can also be used with the PC30E, ensuring functionality is maintained.

Komatsu’s Pilot Program and Global Expansion

Komatsu plans to launch a pilot program for the PC30E in the second half of 2023. This program involves working closely with customers to gain insights into ideal applications and the total cost of ownership. The PC30E is set to be introduced to markets outside Japan, including Europe, this year. By collaborating with clients and gathering feedback, Komatsu aims to further enhance the electric excavator’s performance and determine its global market entry.

PC01E Micro Excavator: Collaboration with Honda for Electric Power

Komatsu and Honda have jointly developed the PC01E micro excavator, which is powered by a Honda Mobile Power Pack (MPP) and Honda eGX electrified power unit. This tiny electric excavator is suitable for tasks such as landscaping, agricultural work, and utility installations. With a 2.5 kW electric motor, it operates quietly and emits no exhaust. The operator rides on the machine, which lacks a canopy or cab, similar to a snowmobile or personal watercraft.

Fully Electric Wheel Loader Concept and Charging Solutions

Komatsu showcased a fully electric small wheel loader concept at Bauma 2022 and ConExpo 2023. Developed in collaboration with Moog Inc., the wheel loader utilizes Moog’s intelligent electrification system and includes an electric traction motor, lift, tilt, and steering cylinders, power electronics, a battery, and a battery management system. Furthermore, Komatsu introduced a mobile charging option and a power bank, developed with Proterra, to facilitate the efficient charging of their electric excavators.

Komatsu is at the forefront of developing environmentally friendly solutions in the construction industry. Their range of electric excavators, including the PC30E compact excavator and PC01E micro excavator, offer emission-free and quiet operation, suitable for various work environments. Through its collaborative pilot program, global expansion plans, and innovative solutions, Komatsu aims to shape the future of sustainable construction practices.