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Komatsu, Griffith Company Show Off Hybrid Excavator

Fri March 19, 2010 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Komatsu America Corp. was recognized by the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for its commitment to green technology and its Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavator. Chairman and CEO of Komatsu America Corp., Dave Grzelak, accepted the Certificate of Recognition from Stephen Cheung, vice president, Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy, city of Los Angeles, and a representative of Villaraigosa.

“I want to recognize Komatsu and their partners for bringing this innovative technology to the city of Los Angeles and the Port of Los Angeles,” Cheung said. “The Mayor has set a very high goal of greening and growing the port at the same time and this hybrid technology will contribute to both goals.”

Late in 2009, Komatsu America introduced the first of 10 Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavators into the U.S. market to test the equipment that was designed to reduce environmental impact by saving fuel and reducing green house emissions. On March 11, representatives from Komatsu, along with representatives from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the office of Villaraigosa, the contractor Griffith Company, and Savala Equipment Company Inc. — which has been using a Hybrid PC200LC-8 — gathered for a demonstration of the hybrid excavator at work at the Port of Los Angeles.

The Komatsu Hybrid PC200LC-8 excavator is one of a number of other kinds of “green” machines that the Port of Los Angeles chose, resulting in reduced diesel emissions that comply with a Clean Air Action Plan that was adopted in November 2006 by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Mike Christensen, deputy executive director of development of the Port of Los Angeles noted that the Komatsu Hybrid PC200LC-8 “joins an elite fleet of low emission workhorses” at “the country’s largest container port.”

“We at Road Machinery are very excited about the Komatsu hybrid technology and their commitment to the environment,” said Steven Branson, vice president and COO, Road Machinery. “As the Komatsu full service distributor in California, Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, Road Machinery, with four full-service locations in southern and northern California, also is concerned for our environment and we support the green movement in California and in our country. With this new technology, we are training our technicians and entire product support team on the hybrid excavator so that we are ready to support fully our valued customers in California with the Komatsu hybrid products.”

“We are really in the process of seeing a complete transformation of this port as well as the trucking and construction industries,” noted Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board.

“We’re actually cleaning the air one piece of equipment at a time, and the machine being showcased now and others are going to help us meet our goals of energy efficiency and diversification of the fuel supply.”

Brea-based contractor Griffith Company has seen positive results with the Hybrid PC200LC-8. Dan McGrew, vice president of business development for the Griffith Company said that they were skeptical at first, but the hybrid excavator “surpassed all expectations while using 30 percent less fuel.”

McGrew noted that the hybrid excavator has a shorter cycle time than a conventional excavator, and concluded, that Komatsu’s Hybrid PC200LC-8 is a “fantastic machine.”

Currently, there are 700 Komatsu hybrid excavators already in use at construction sites in China and Japan. In tests comparing the standard PC200LC-8 hydraulic excavator to the Hybrid PC200LC-8, the hybrid model reduced fuel consumption by approximately 20 to 40 percent, depending on the application according to the manufacturer

Powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System, the Hybrid PC200LC-8 uses a newly developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor and diesel engine. This innovative hybrid system works on the principle of swing energy, regeneration and energy storage using the Komatsu Ultra Capacitor system.

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