Operational evaluation of a prototype fuel cell electric excavator using hydrogen as the driving source

As part of its efforts to become carbon neutral, Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, President: Akira Yamamoto) is reducing CO2 emissions in its production processes*1 and helping customers achieve carbon neutrality in terms of products. We will develop and gradually provide construction machinery that will

We would like to inform you that we have developed a prototype fuel cell electric excavator and have begun evaluating its operation using hydrogen as the driving source.

With the slogan “Kobelco of low fuel consumption,” our company has strived to develop and provide construction machinery that contributes to reducing environmental impact, including world-class fuel efficiency, the world’s first hybrid excavators, and wired electric excavators.

Recently, in order to realize a green society, there is a desire to develop construction machinery with higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. As a power unit with low CO2 emissions, there are options such as wired electric, battery, fuel cell type electric, and conventional engine type using alternative fuel, but each has advantages and disadvantages, and the power unit that can be used depending on the site situation will change. While paying close attention to construction sites that are changing in response to carbon neutrality, the power sources supplied, and the status of related laws and infrastructure, we are promoting technological development using a variety of carbon neutral methods and achieving results. We will gradually provide construction machinery that takes advantage of this.

First, in 2025, we plan to launch battery-powered mini excavators and small heavy-duty excavators in the European market, where there is a high need for electrified products, as well as a wired electric version of crawler cranes in Japan. I am.

As part of a series of product developments aimed at carbon neutrality, efforts have been underway since 2021 to commercialize a fuel cell electric excavator powered by hydrogen, and the company plans to launch a prototype in March 2023. It was completed. This prototype is a medium-sized hydraulic excavator equipped with an electric drive system, and uses Toyota Motor Corporation’s fuel cell unit and hydrogen tank as its power source. Through evaluation of the prototype, we have confirmed that the basic movements required of an excavator can be achieved using hydrogen as the driving source.