Conceptual image of a Komatsu electric excavator

Komatu has signed a collaboration agreement with US battery producer Proterra to electrify its small and medium-sized hydraulic excavators.

Proof of concept tests starting will start this year, with commercial production following on in 2023 or 2024.

Proterra is considered a leader in commercial vehicle electrification technology, supplying power systems for electric buses. It has  fleet of more than 500 electric transit vehicles in North America. It will now work with Komatsu to optimise its battery system for hydraulic excavators, which require a higher output.

Komatsu introduced its hybrid hydraulic excavators in 2008 and last year launched its PC30E-5 electric mini excavator, a 4.7-tonne machine.

The collaboration with Proterra is expected to take this to another level.

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