GM and Komatsu Partner for Hydrogen-Powered Mining Truck

On December 12, 2023, General Motors and the Japan-based manufacturing equipment company Komatsu announced a development partnership for hydrogen fuel cells. As an advocate for hydrogen fuel solutions, OneH2 is excited about the innovation that will come from the partnership of these two leading manufacturers and the opportunities it will bring to the industry.

Michigan-based General Motors, already a leading innovator in hydrogen fuel cell technology, announced its ambitions to develop more advanced zero-emission solutions as far back as 2017. Since then, they’ve continued to invest tens of billions of dollars into HV and EV solutions for both passenger vehicles and commercial applications.

The partnership intends to develop a hydrogen fuel cell for Komatsu’s capable 930E electric drive mining truck, already the best-selling haul truck in its class, renowned for its ability to haul a payload of 320 tons. There are numerous benefits to replacing the traditional 16 cylinder diesel engine with a hydrogen fuel cell. General Motors and Komatsu were quick to point out that their main goal is an emission-less future. General Motors has set a goal of carbon neutrality by 2040 and Komatsu aims for carbon neutrality in 2050.

Another aspect to consider is improved operating efficiency. Newer hydrogen fuel cells are significantly lighter than their older diesel engine counterparts. Given the importance of payload for mining trucks, a lighter power unit provides the potential added benefit of increased capacity. Hydrogen fuel cells are also considerably quicker to refill, which is ideal for an industrial vehicle like the 930E. It typically stays at one mining operation throughout its commercial use, so using a hydrogen fuel cell provides a simpler fueling structure for a stationary fleet of these vehicles.

By only producing water vapor, fuel cell powered equipment also has the added health benefits of eliminating harmful emissions of diesel engines operating in confined spaces. 

Both Komatsu and General Motors have stated that they plan to test their new prototype mid-decade, most likely in the next few years. The testing will take place at Komatsu’s Arizona Proving Grounds research and development facility. As we get closer to the testing date of the 930E prototype, General Motors has announced even more desire to explore hydrogen fuel cell innovations in the heavy equipment space, specifying certain machines used for road building and construction, including but not limited to heavy cement mixers, dump trucks, and refuse trucks. With that in mind, we hope to see further collaboration among these two companies as we work collectively toward a zero-emissions future. 


“General Motors and Komatsu Partner to Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Electric Mining Truck.” General Motors Newsroom, General Motors,”GM, Komatsu to Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Electric Mining Truck.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters,