The construction, mining, forestry, and industrial heavy equipment markets are experiencing rapid and massive growth in electrification driven by CO2 reduction efforts, regulatory demands, ESG and operational improvement needs. That’s the motivation behind the announcement that Komatsu, through its wholly owned subsidiary in the U.S., Komatsu America Corp., has agreed to acquire American Battery Solutions, Inc. (ABS), a battery manufacturer headquartered in Michigan.
According to the companies, ABS and Komatsu are committed to developing advanced energy storage systems that are optimized to power the next generation of Komatsu’s electrified equipment.
ABS manufactures a wide variety of heavy-duty and industrial battery packs, using lithium-ion batteries for commercial vehicles, transit buses and on- and off-road vehicles. The company provides both standard and custom battery systems optimized to a customer’s needs. ABS’ technology, combined with advanced product development expertise, enables the company to develop and make battery packs designed to deliver superior performance, life, and safety, said Komatsu officials.
The acquisition of ABS will enable Komatsu to develop and produce its own battery-operated construction and mining equipment, through the integration of ABS battery technology with Komatsu’s knowledge and network. The first equipment produced with ABS batteries will power mining equipment in North and South America, where demand for electrification has been increasing. In the future, Komatsu will aim to expand the use of batteries in construction equipment and to establish a global supply system. Komatsu will continue to support ABS’ battery business to further develop the electrification business post-acquisition.
ABS will operate as a stand-alone business entity within Komatsu and will continue its growth plans by executing on its current and prospective customer programs in the commercial vehicle segments. The mining and construction opportunities provided through Komatsu will enable ABS to position itself as one of the world’s leading providers of battery systems in both on-highway and off-highway markets.
Through the acquisition, Komatsu will accelerate the development of battery-powered electric vehicles by using ABS battery-related technology, along with other initiatives Komatsu is pursuing with its partners, to further contribute to the electrification of construction and mining equipment and the realization of a decarbonized society. These efforts will help Komatsu achieve its management target of 50% reduction of CO2 emissions from the use of its products by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels) as well as the company’s challenge target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
As part of its growth strategy for the mid-term management plan “DANTOTSU Value -Together, to ‘The Next’ for sustainable growth” Komatsu is working to develop and launch electric equipment to help achieve carbon neutrality, create value for customers through new processes and operations, and provide a more sustainable environment for the next generation.
ABS has a team of nearly 200 employees with headquarters and technical innovation center in Lake Orion, Michigan, and a dedicated 170,000 sq. ft purpose-built state of the art battery manufacturing facility in Springboro, Ohio.
Komatsu is planning to close the acquisition on Dec. 1, 2023, on the condition that all necessary procedures for the closing are completed. The immediate impact on Komatsu’s consolidated business results is estimated to be minimal.