Proterra and Komatsu, a global leader in construction and mining equipment, announced a new collaboration to electrify next-generation underground mining machines using Proterra’s battery technology. This is the second collaboration between Proterra and Komatsu. The two companies previously announced an agreement in which Proterra supplies its industry-leading battery systems to support Komatsu in electrifying its first medium-sized hydraulic excavators. (Earlier post.)
A Komatsu underground drill with Proterra batteries
Under the collaboration, Proterra will supply its H Series battery system technology to Komatsu for the development of battery-electric LHDs (load, haul, dump), drills, and bolters (machinery to install roof support bolts) for underground hard rock mining. Mining equipment and services provider Komatsu plans to utilize Proterra’s high-performance battery systems for the development of prototype machines this year before the expected commencement of commercial production in 2022.
The collaboration represents Proterra’s entry into the underground mining equipment market.
Komatsu has helped advance customer options to mitigate environmental impact through product development for many years, through initiatives such as its hybrid hydraulic excavators kickoff in 2008, which marked the world’s first hybrid construction equipment on the market. This year, Komatsu also announced its new Greenhouse Gas (GHG) alliance with customers to actively collaborate on product planning, development, testing and deployment of the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure. The alliance’s initial target is advancing Komatsu’s power-agnostic truck concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources including diesel electric, electric, trolley (wired), battery power and even hydrogen fuel cells.
Proterra battery systems offer an outstanding application for confined, underground mining settings where safety and durability are of utmost importance, while helping to mitigate air and noise pollution through battery-electric technology. Proterra uses rigorous testing to ensure Proterra battery packs are designed to withstand tough conditions and meet or exceed the latest functional safety standards. Proterra battery systems incorporate liquid thermal conditioning, monitoring sensors throughout the battery pack, as well as active and passive protective features like passive propagation resistance to isolate individual battery cells in the rare case of a thermal event.