Komatsu’s PC210LCE electric excavator set to enter pilot program this year
After making its North American debut at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, Komatsu’s PC210LCE electric excavator is set to enter a test pilot program later this year.
“As we enter this testing phase, we know that there are many questions about this electric machine, and we will be learning alongside our customers to ensure that, ultimately, the excavator can work well for them,” said Andrew Earing, Director of Tracked Products and Technical Service for Komatsu.
Komatsu’s electric excavator development is part of a larger climate goal for the company.
“We have our own corporate goals of working toward carbon neutrality by 2050,” explained Earing. “That may seem like a long time away, but it’s not. We are dedicated to striving to meet those goals along with the goals of a lot of our customers — which happen to be very similar.”
The PC210LCE is in the 20-ton class and is ideal for operating in urban or indoor environments because it has zero emissions and runs more quietly than combustion-engine excavators.
“With the emissions-free product, it opens up a few doors,” noted Earing. “The first is that this machine can work indoors. It’s zero emissions, so you don’t have to worry about adding on a scrubber or monitoring indoor air quality. You can take it indoors, get to work, and not worry about those factors.”
Earing added, “The other big benefit is the operating environment. The additional feedback that we often get is that it’s an extremely quiet excavator, especially when you have the cab door shut. This means a more comfortable experience for our operators, and externally, a quieter job site for ground crews.”
Partnership with Proterra
The PC210LCE is powered by lithium-ion battery technology developed by Proterra that can give it up to eight hours of operating time, depending on the application.
“Proterra’s been in this industry for over 10 years now,” said Earing. “They are known for producing and installing these batteries in 100% electric transit vehicles, primarily buses, and their transit buses can operate 12 to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These duty cycles meet or exceed what is expected in the construction industry, so we have confidence in the technology. We’re very proud to have them as a partner.”
With the Proterra battery, the PC210LCE provides optimal performance.
“The battery system, coupled with a 123-kilowatt, 165-horsepower electric motor as the power plant, is going to deliver the same levels of performance as a conventional PC210LC-11 excavator,” remarked Earing.
The electric excavator is also compatible with Komatsu’s Smart Construction Retrofit, an affordable guidance kit that gives operators in the field and managers in the office both access to 2D and 3D design and payload data to help drive accuracy, control load volumes, and improve operations.