As an initial stage, Cummins and Komatsu have now carried out a study on mining transportation vehicles that can run on various future energy sources such as hybrid diesel-electric drives, battery energy and hydrogen fuel cell drives.
The first objective of this alliance was to further develop the existing Komatsu concept. Last year, Komatsu and several of its customers from the mining industry established the Komatsu Greenhouse Gas Alliance to promote electrification in the mining sector.
Amy Davis as Vice President of Cummins said that this collaboration is an important moment to reduce transportation emissions in the mining industry which has great potential to lead renewable solutions.
“Komatsu’s extensive mining and equipment integration and design expertise coupled with our advanced energy technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells, will accelerate the decarbonization of mining equipment,” he explained.
According to him, mining operations have recently seen greater interest in and uptake of zero emission vehicles. The lack of emissions is of course advantageous for mining conditions, but hydrogen fuel cell solutions also offer special advantages.
“Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have the advantage that hydrogen infrastructure can be built according to known loads and distances for direct absorption in mining operations, while hydrogen systems work well in remote situations where grid power is not available,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Komatsu’s Mining Business Division President, Masayuki Moriyama, admitted that hydrogen fuel cells provide greater power density for large vehicles and can be recharged in minutes, which benefits vehicles that want to keep running constantly.
“This is a critical technology to help mining customers reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate carbon neutrality. Cummins has long been a partner of Komatsu and has invested in key technologies needed to support the energy transition in mining,” he said.
Currently, Komatsu is focusing on the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Meanwhile, Cummins is currently building a factory for fuel cell systems in Germany as a production site.
Komatsu is part of Cummins’ Destination Zero strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas and air quality impact of its products and achieve its zero-emissions target by 2050.