KOMATSU expects to have an electric forest machine on the market by the end of the decade. 

The manufacturer has announced fresh investment in battery-powered technology, which will see a dedicated development department, focusing on electrification, established by the firm.

With the initiative, the company wants to take the lead in the forest machinery industry and help reduce net carbon dioxide emissions from its machines. Several other manufacturers have already made moves towards battery-powered or hybrid technology, including Logset and Malwa. 

READ MORE: EV1: First look at Ponsse's new electric forwarder concept

“We have a production facility that is close to carbon neutral, and we are working with the same goal-awareness to reduce CO2 emissions from the use of our forest machines," Erik Nilsson, CTO at Komatsu Forest, said. "The vision is to reach a 'net zero emission worksite'.

“We see an increasing interest in our customers and partners in reducing the environmental impact of forest machines. 

"We aim to reduce CO2 emissions from our products by 50 per cent by 2030 and expect to have something on the market before then." 

Forestry Journal: Ponsse, another major manufacturer, last year unveiled its first electric solution, the EV1Ponsse, another major manufacturer, last year unveiled its first electric solution, the EV1

While excited about the step, Komatsu officials have admitted major challenges remain.

“We are happy to lead the way, but cooperation and partnership are an important part of the transition in the forest,” said Erik. "To succeed, the development of new technologies and new system solutions that can offer our customers the ability to use renewable energy sources is required."