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Komatsu Teams Up With U.S. Firm to Make Battery-Powered Diggers

Komatsu Ltd. will team up with Proterra Inc., a maker of battery packs and electric buses, to produce electric-powered excavators as competition intensifies to offer machines that curb emissions.

Asia’s top maker of construction equipment agreed with Proterra to receive batteries and peripherals from the U.S. firm to power small and mid-sized excavators, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement. Komatsu plans tests this year, and to begin mass, commercial production in 2023 to 2024, it said.

Komatsu and rivals are following the auto industry in shifting away from fossil-fuel engines as governments tighten emission standards. China, Japan and South Korea have joined Europe in pledging to become carbon neutral in the coming decades, putting more pressure on companies to mitigate climate risks.

As part of its response to environmental issues, Komatsu released what it called the world’s first hybrid excavators in 2008, and recently launched a mini battery-powered excavator.

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