Komatsu has taken a major step into the future with the release at bauma 2022 of a 20-ton class electric hydraulic excavator powered by a lithium-ion battery system.

Scheduled for launch on Japanese and European markets in 2023, the excavator was developed by Komatsu through their collaboration with the US-based Proterra organisation  with whom it has been working since 2021 in researching methods to electrify small and medium-sized hydraulic excavators.

Badged PC 210E, with additional ‘electric’ marking, the unit has a bucket capacity  0.8-1.2 m3 and a tail swing radius of 3,020mm. Motor output of 123kw is matched to a battery capacity of 451kwh.

In practical terms, information released by Komatsu shows that the PC 210E has delivered durability and achieved a digging performance equivalent to that of engine-driven hydraulic excavators. When fully charged, its battery system enables operation for up to 8 hours depending on conditions.

Apart from the obvious benefits that electric power can bring in terms of reduced emissions and operational savings, the benefits of electric power make it possible to work comfortably in various work environments without worrying about noise and exhaust emissions thereby making night-time construction and work in urban areas possible.  The zero-engine vibration will also help to reduce operator fatigue.

Commenting, Komatsu distributor in Ireland, Michael McHale, chairman of McHale Plant Sales said: “the emergence at bauma of an electric powered excavator and a prototype electric powered wheel loader demonstrate the advances Komatsu are making towards the delivery of equipment that will enable customers to tender with confidence for those contracts that have a significant environmental dimension.”

© Civil & Construction 2023