Proterra Collaborating with Komatsu on Electric Excavator

Proterra will provide its battery technology for use in a proof-of-concept battery-electric hydraulic excavator Komatsu plans to bring to market by 2023.

Concept image of the Komatsu electric excavator to be powered by Proterra batteries.
Concept image of the Komatsu electric excavator to be powered by Proterra batteries.
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Proterra announces it has signed an agreement with Komatsu to provide battery technology for development of a Komatsu battery-electric hydraulic excavator. According to Proterra's press release announcing the collaboration, this is the first time the company has been involved with a project in the off-highway equipment industry. It will also be the first piece of construction equipment powered by Proterra batteries. 

Komatsu intends to use Proterra battery systems to create a proof-of-concept middle-class electric excavator in 2021, with commercial production planned in 2023-2024. High energy density batteries and fast charging technology will be used for the excavator. 

Proterra battery technology

Proterra says in its press release that its battery packs offer high energy density and a customizable design which can suit the needs of various vehicle applications. This packaging flexibility will allow Komatsu to optimally place the batteries in the middle of the excavator and replace the need for a counterweight. 

The company introduced its H Series battery pack technology in September 2020 which has a more narrow design for easier installation. This battery joined the company's S Series which also offers design flexibility for customers. Both battery models feature modules which can be produced at four different voltage ratings to meet an OEM's specific design needs. 

Proterra's batteries use NCM 811 lithium-ion cylindrical cells and can support vehicle voltages up to 1,200V DC and 6 Mwh in size. Various safety features are included, as well, to ensure reliability and durability. 

"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 in the Proterra's press release announcing the collaboration. "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."

"I am excited about the collaboration with Proterra, by which Komatsu will drive the electrification of construction equipment," said Seiichi Fuchita, President, Development Division, Komatsu Ltd.

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