Komatsu, Proterra to collaborate on battery-electric excavator

By Chad Elmore26 January 2021

Commercial vehicle electrification technology specialist Proterra and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu have announced an agreement to leverage Proterra’s battery technology for the development of Komatsu’s first battery-electric mid-size hydraulic excavator.

The collaboration represents Proterra’s entry into the off-road vehicle market and the company’s first Proterra Powered battery-electric construction equipment.

Komatsu will utilize Proterra’s battery systems for the development of a proof-of-concept electric excavator in 2021 before expected commercial production in 2023 to 2024. The Proterra battery system powering the electric excavator will feature high energy density and fast charging technology, said the company.

Komatsu and Proterra

Proterra said the packaging flexibility of its battery platform will enable the optimal placement of the batteries within the mid-size excavator and replace the need for a normal counterweight used to balance the excavator’s hydraulic arm movements.

“As more communities embrace a zero-emission future, Proterra is excited to partner with Komatsu to develop battery-electric construction equipment,” said Proterra CEO Jack Allen.

“Proterra’s best-in-class battery technology has been proven in 16 million miles driven by our fleet of transit vehicles. What’s working in our battery-electric transit vehicles on roads across North America can work off-road, too. We look forward to collaborating with Komatsu to deliver the benefits of emissions free, quiet Proterra Powered vehicles to more communities around the world.”

The Proterra Powered brand leverages Proterra’s electric vehicle technology and expertise to help commercial vehicle manufacturers electrify their vehicles. Proterra battery systems are utilized by world-class OEMs to introduce 100% battery-electric vehicles, including electric school buses, coach buses, delivery vans and low-floor cutaway shuttle buses.

In addition to reducing noise and air pollution, Proterra said the design of its battery packs offers an ideal application for an off-road, construction setting where safety and durability are of utmost importance. Proterra designs and manufacturers its batteries in California with safety as a core guiding principle and all Proterra battery packs undergo rigorous testing to ensure they can withstand the toughest conditions, making it an excellent choice for Komatsu and the off-road vehicle market.

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