On the occasion of its 100th anniversary on May 13, Komatsu Ltd. (President and CEO: Hiroyuki Ogawa) (hereafter “Komatsu”) announced a fully electric (non-hydraulic drive) and exclusively remote-controlled mini excavator powered by lithium-ion battery, as its next-generation concept machine for the future.
Designed to lay the foundations for commercialization of fully electric construction equipment of the future, this concept machine for a fully electric 3-ton class (bucket capacity: 0.09 m3) mini excavator is based on Komatsu’s accumulated technological expertise in electric forklifts and mini excavators, and incorporates new technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries and electric cylinders which utilize no hydraulics. Thanks to full-electric power, it is an eco-friendly machine, as it generates no exhaust gas, noise or heat. In addition to improved energy efficiency, it also features maintenance-free operation thanks to no use of hydraulic equipment.
As this concept machine requires no operator on board the machine, Komatsu has achieved totally new concepts related to vehicle designs and performance. A vehicle controller and operational device are connected via wireless LAN, resulting in no need to install facilities or create an environment, which are required in the conventional remote-control system, and enabling remote control operations under any work environment. With respect to the operational devices of the vehicle, the operator can select the one which he/she likes. Furthermore, it offers a new workstyle of operating it without boarding it, reducing the operator’s fatigue and improving workplace productivity. Thanks to electrification and remote control, this machine should be stress-free for the operator, as it will make machine operation easy for work in confined, dangerous sites, such as for indoor demolition and rescue work from disasters.
In 2020, Komatsu launched the PC30E-5 electric mini excavators (hydraulic drive) in Japan, and plans to introduce electric mini excavators (hydraulic drive) after equipping them with the lithium-ion battery system used in the concept machine for Europe in FY2022.