Komatsu has struck a collaboration agreement with Proterra, a manufacturer of vehicle electrification technology, to electrify next-generation underground mining machines.
The parties said Proterra would supply its H Series battery system technology to Komatsu to develop battery-electric LHDs, drills and bolters for underground hard rock mining.
Following that, Komatsu plans to utilise Proterra's high-performance battery systems to develop prototype machines this year before the expected commencement of commercial production in 2022.
Gareth Joyce, president of Proterra, said the company is excited to enter the mining equipment market and build on its relationship with Komatsu.
He said switching to battery-electric technology means helping to protect clean air for underground mines while delivering "a high-performance technology solution" to improve safety and reliability.
Josh Wagner, vice-president of hard rock mining at Komatsu, said leveraging Proterra's battery technology will enable the company to offer customers "increasing sustainable solutions".
The agreement is the second collaboration between Proterra and Komatsu. The two companies previously announced an agreement that Proterra supplies its industry-leading battery systems to support Komatsu in electrifying its first medium-sized hydraulic excavators.