General Motors (GM) and Komatsu are collaborating on the development of a hydrogen fuel cell power module for Komatsu’s 930E electric drive mining truck, a leading ultra-class haul truck globally. Both GM and Komatsu, prominent in hydrogen fuel cell technology and the manufacturing of mining and construction equipment, respectively, will jointly design and validate this technology.
Hydrogen fuel cells, known for their lightweight nature and quick refueling, are well-suited for electrifying applications traditionally reliant on diesel engines. The energy density of hydrogen allows for effective onboard storage without compromising payload carrying capacity, making it an ideal solution for vehicles with demanding hauling requirements, such as the Komatsu 930E mining truck with a nominal payload of 320 tons.
The partnership aims to leverage fuel cell technology to provide zero tailpipe emissions for heavy-duty applications like mining trucks. Komatsu’s fuel cell-powered mining trucks are seen as an alternative for decarbonization, offering a pathway beyond battery-trolley or battery-static charging solutions without requiring additional charging infrastructure within mines.
Komatsu has set ambitious targets to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. GM, on the other hand, aims to be fully carbon neutral in both products and operations by 2040.
The collaborative effort between GM and Komatsu includes plans to test the first prototype HYDROTEC-powered mining vehicle in the mid-2020s at Komatsu’s Arizona Proving Grounds (AZPG) research and development facility. The vehicle will be powered by over 2 megawatts of HYDROTEC power cubes.
GM, with over 50 years of experience in fuel cell research, possesses advanced technology platforms for both lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. The collaboration between GM and Komatsu underscores their commitment to advancing sustainable solutions for heavy-duty applications and supporting industries in achieving their sustainability goals.