Proterra brings batteries underground for Komatsu

Proterra

A Komatsu underground LHD is pictured with Proterra batteries.

Proterra and Komatsu have collaborated to electrify next-generation underground mining machines using Proterra’s battery technology.  

Proterra will supply its H Series battery system technology to Komatsu for the development of battery-electric LHDs, drills and bolters for underground hard rock mining. 

Komatsu vice president of hard rock mining Josh Wagner said the partnership would satisfy the clients and core values of both companies.

“We are excited to be working with Proterra to bring zero-emissions mining solutions to underground hard rock,” Wagner said

“Leveraging their battery technology, we seek to offer customers increasing sustainable solutions for their operations.”  

The initial target of the collaboration is to advance Komatsu’s power-agnostic truck concept for a haulage vehicle that can run on a variety of power sources including diesel electric, electric, trolley (wired), battery power and hydrogen fuel cells. 

Proterra president Gareth Joyce said this development would have benefits for the environment and safety.

“Proterra is excited to build on our relationship with a proven, industry-leader like Komatsu to electrify mining machines with our EV technology,” Joyce said.

“Switching to battery-electric technology means helping protect clean air for those working in underground mines while delivering a high-performance technology solution where safety and reliability are paramount.” 

Komatsu plans to utilise Proterra’s high-performance battery systems for the development of prototype machines this year before the expected commencement of commercial production in 2022. 

Proterra’s battery systems have been selected by world-class commercial vehicle manufacturers to power heavy-duty vehicles, including construction equipment. 

This year, Komatsu also announced its new Greenhouse Gas (GHG) alliance with customers to actively collaborate on product planning, development, testing and deployment of the next generation of zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure. 

The collaboration represents Proterra’s entry into the underground mining equipment market. 

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