TALK about electric vehicles and the mind quickly swings to creations such as Nissan’s Leaf, Elon Musk’s Tesla, the Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro and a few others.
Common knowledge is that every car maker is, or is getting into EV mode — but so is Komatsu, with its range of earthmoving machinery.
As part of its 100th anniversary celebrations, Komatsu president Hiroyuki Ogawa has announced a fully electric, remote-controlled mini excavator powered by a lithium-ion battery, as its next-generation concept machine into the future.
“Our focus is on creating a sustainable footprint through our operations, processes and our products,” Komatsu Australia CEO, Sean Taylor, said.
“Looking into the next 100 years, Komatsu will continue to move forward through manufacturing and technology innovation to empower a sustainable future where people, businesses and our planet thrive together.”
The concept machine for a fully electric 3-tonne class mini excavator is based on the Japanese company’s technological expertise in electric forklifts and mini excavators, and incorporates new technologies such as lithium-ion batteries and electric cylinders which use no hydraulics.
With full electric power, it’s an eco-friendly machine that generates no gas, noise or heat. In addition to improved energy efficiency, it’s also maintenance-free in operation because it does not use hydraulic equipment.
Nor does it need an operator.
A vehicle controller and operational device are connected via wireless LAN, enabling remote control operations in any work environment.
Komatsu adds that it will make machine operation especially suited for work in confined, dangerous sites, such as for indoor demolition and rescue work from disasters.
Already in use in Australia are some of Komatsu’s huge 930E-4SE dump trucks.
The 290 tonne capacity AC-drive 930E-4SE machine is rated at a nominal 291 tonne payload capacity and is powered by a 2610kW engine.
This engine configuration suits specific mining applications where increased speed on grade is desired such as a deep pit haul.
Vehicle systems are simple in layout and are designed with inherent reliability to ensure long term dependability.