GM and Komatsu Collaborate on Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Mining Truck

General Motors and Komatsu will jointly develop hydrogen fuel cell powertrain modules for the Komatsu 930E electric dump truck, the world’s best-selling super dump truck.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

General Motors, a leader in hydrogen fuel cell technology, and Komatsu, a global manufacturer of mining and construction equipment, will jointly develop and validate the technology.

Hydrogen fuel cells are easy and fast to refuel, making them ideal for electrification applications traditionally powered by diesel engines. Hydrogen provides an efficient way to load large amounts of energy onto a vehicle without compromising payload carrying capacity.

In addition, fuel cells provide an excellent zero-emission solution for vehicles with extreme transportation requirements, such as the Komatsu 930E mining truck with a rated payload of 320 tons. These vehicles typically operate at a single mine site throughout their service life, simplifying the challenges of sizing and deploying efficient refueling infrastructure to maintain the fleet.

“At General Motors, we believe fuel cells can play an important role in a zero-emission future and help electrify heavy-duty applications beyond passenger vehicles,” said Charlie Freese, general manager of GM’s global HYDROTEC business. “Mining Trucks are among the largest and most powerful vehicles used in any industry, and we believe hydrogen fuel cells are best suited to provide zero-emission propulsion for these demanding applications.”

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Komatsu’s fuel cell-powered mining trucks offer additional decarbonization pathways beyond battery-powered or static battery charging solutions without requiring additional charging infrastructure at the mine.

Komatsu aims to reduce global emissions by 50% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. Plans to achieve these goals include reducing and eliminating emissions from the Company’s product offerings and from the Company’s facilities and product manufacturing. Komatsu also works closely with customers to reduce and eliminate emissions from product use through optimization programs supported by Komatsu technology and service solutions.

GM aims to become fully carbon neutral across its products and operations by 2040.

“Finding new ways to power the equipment our customers need to do important jobs like mining and construction is a key part of our commitment to a more sustainable future,” said Dan Funcannon, vice president of engineering and development at Komatsu North America. “This is a This is an important effort that requires cross-industry collaboration, and we are pleased to partner with General Motors to develop this important zero-emission transportation solution.”

General Motors and Komatsu plan to test the first HYDROTEC-powered mining vehicle prototype at Komatsu’s Arizona Proving Ground (AZPG) R&D facility in the mid-2020s. The vehicle is powered by a HYDROTEC Power Cube with over 2 MW.

GM has been engaged in fuel cell research and product development for more than 50 years and is one of the few companies with advanced indigenous technology platforms for lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells. GM and Komatsu believe these complementary technologies can help accelerate the adoption of low-emission mobility solutions and help other industries beyond passenger vehicles achieve their sustainability goals.

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