Komatsu unveils first electric mini excavator

Komatsu Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer of construction, mining and forestry equipment, as well as industrial tunneling machinery and forklift trucks, announced recently the completion of a new fully electric mini excavator. The new machine, which Komatsu says will “set the course for next-generation construction equipment,” was debuted at bauma 2019, a major international trade fair for the construction industry.

Komatsu relied upon its experience with hybrid construction equipment and electric forklift trucks to design and manufacture the innovative excavator. The company describes it as “an environment and people-friendly machine.”

“Equipped with an in-house developed new charger, high-voltage converter and other devices, it offers excavation performance on par with the internal combustion model of the same power output, while achieving zero exhaust gas emissions and a dynamic reduction in noise levels,” Komatsu wrote on its official website.

In view of that, Komatsu expects the new machine to be popular for a wide range of applications, especially “construction work near hospitals or schools or in residential areas, where contractors have conventionally paid special attention to exhaust gas and noise during work, as well as inside tunnels or buildings.”

The new excavator uses the same low-maintenance battery currently found in the company’s FE-series line of electric forklift trucks. After a full charge the battery is able to power the machine from two to six hours, depending on the application and conditions. It can also be recharged quickly to extend operating time.

Komatsu adds, “As all high-voltage devices are mounted in the rear of the mini excavator, there is no need for operators to touch any of them during daily checks before starting work, which offers improved safety and serviceability.”

Komatsu is the second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment in the world, behind Caterpillar. In the construction category it offers hydraulic excavators, bulldozers, mini excavators, wheel loaders, dump trucks, electric rope shovels, continuous miners, motor graders and many parts and attachments.

Jeffrey Boyle

Jeffrey Boyle is from Madison, Wisconsin, where he obtained his bachelor's degree in business communications. When he's not reading or writing about construction equipment and machinery, he can probably be found walking--or being walked by--his three Boston Terriers.