The World's First Hybrid Excavator
to the Never-Ending Pursuit of Low Fuel Consumption

With social environmental changes, hybrid technology is now commonplace in our lives.
KOBELCO successfully developed the world's first hybrid excavator, leading the manufactures of construction machinery.

The Challenge
to be the World's First

In the late 1990s, the first hybrid car was introduced at a time when worldwide concern for the natural environment was growing such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With regard to construction machinery, KOBELCO and Kobe Steel, Ltd. were entrusted by NEDO* to jointly develop the basic technology for hybrid excavators in the autumn of 1999. That technology was absolutely new and we started to construct theories or technologies from scratch. Different from cars, developing a hybrid system that addressed the particular issues of a hydraulic excavator was a task that entailed constant difficulties.

* New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization

A First New Step in the
History of Hydraulic Excavators

Following repeated trial and errors, we overcame each obstruction. In 2006, seven years after commencing development, we announced the completion of the world’s first hybrid excavator (monitor machinery) SK70H. The development of this new technology created new value for the history of hydraulic excavators.
In autumn of 2009, three years following the announcement, we began the mass production and sales of SK80H which featured the highest fuel efficiency in the industry at that time. The product development effort for this unequalled low fuel consumption feature was highly rated, and the SK80H won the Minister of the Environment award for Global Warming Prevention Activity in 2010.

The Continuing Evolution of
Hybrid Excavator Technology

After building the foundation for hybrid excavators, our next challenge was to develop and mass-produce 20t class hybrid excavator. Compared to the SK80H, 200t class excavator needs 2.5 times the engine output. So, we had to start from the development of the unit’s specifications again in order to achieve the optimum machine. After a three-year development period following the introduction of the SK80H, we announced the release of the 20t class SK200H-9.
As a result of continuous development, we introduced the SK200H-10 in 2016, the industry’s first hybrid excavator with a lithium ion battery. Our development of hybrid machines began with the aim of costly and environmentally benefits by low fuel consumption performance. This goal is a challengeable, but we continue making effort to achieve further advances.

The KOBELCO's hybrid excavator has technology registered in the New Technology Information System (NETIS) by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
Registration number: TH-120029-VR (Backhoe with hybrid functions)