Komatsu mining truck will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with GM’s help

Komatsu mining truck will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with GM’s help

December 15, 2023 0 By Erin Kilgore

The two companies have teamed up to co-develop an HFC power module.

General Motorsand Komatsu have announced their partnership to co-develop a hydrogen fuel cell power module for the world’s top-selling ultra-class haul truck, Komatsu’s 930E electric drive mining truck.

HFCs are an ideal choice for mining vehicles.

GM, an automaker and hydrogen fuel cell technology leader based in the United States, and Komatus, a Japan-based global manufacturer of mining and construction equipment, believe the hydrogen fuel cell mining trucks will help to decarbonize the industry.

Hydrogen fuel cells are considered by many to be the optimal eco-friendly choice for powering applications that traditionally require diesel engines. These fuel cells are lightweight and refuel fast. They can effectively package significant quantities of energy onboard the vehicle and can do so by not interfering with the vehicle’s payload carrying capacity.

“At GM, we believe fuel cells can play an integral role in a zero-emissions future, helping to electrify heavier-duty applications, beyond passenger vehicles,” Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s Global HYDROTEC business, stated in a recent news release announcing the collaboration.

“Mining trucks are among the largest, most capable vehicles used in any industry, and we believe hydrogen fuel cells are best suited to deliver zero emissions propulsion to these demanding applications.”

The companies will jointly design and test the hydrogen fuel cell tech.

The mining vehicle will be powered by more than 2 megawatts of HYDROTEC power cubes. The companies plan to test the first prototype HYDROTEC-powered mining vehicle in the next couple of years at Komatsu’s Arizona Proving Grounds research and development facility.

Komatsu 930E hydrogen fuel cell truck 2 - Image Source - Komatsu

A virtual rendering of Komatsu’s 930E mining truck that will be powered by HYDROTEC fuel cells – Image Source: Komatsu

“Finding new ways to power the equipment our customers need to do the vital work of mining and construction is a critical part of our commitment to supporting a more sustainable future,” Dan Funcannon, vice president of North America engineering and development for Komatsu, said.Memory test

“This is essential work that requires cross-industry collaboration, and we are excited to be working with GM on this important solution for a haulage offering without tailpipe emissions.”

Another pathway to decarbonization.

hydrogen news ebookThe hydrogen fuel cell mining trucks are another fossil fuel alternative for the mining industry. Fuel cells are an ideal zero tailpipe emissions solution for these vehicles as they have extreme hauling requirements.

The Komatsu 930E has a nominal payload of 320 tons and, like most mining trucks, will typically operate at one mine throughout its life. As such, this makes it easier to deploy the effective hydrogen refueling infrastructure needed to service the vehicle fleet.

This collaboration aside, Komatsu and GM are working hard to reach carbon neutrality. Komatsu plans to achieve this by 2050, while GM plans to get there a decade earlier – for both its products and operations – by 2040

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