London-based Anglo American is developing the world’s largest electric vehicle.
The Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, which will weigh 290 tonnes, will begin test runs at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa later this year, according to Popular Mechanics.
Anglo American is working together with ENGIE, and Williams Advanced Engineering to create the world’s largest hydrogen-powered mining truck.
The idea is to replace the vehicle’s diesel engine with a retrofitted high-power modular lithium-ion battery.
As part of its FutureSmart Mining programme, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major sustainability challenges, Anglo American has committed to reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.
Putting electrified vehicles into mines – from large haul trucks to passenger vehicles and employee buses – will help Anglo American reach these ambitious decarbonisation targets, set out in the Sustainable Mining Plan.
In line with Anglo American’s commitment to sustainable mining, studies will take place after the initial trials to understand how these power units can be used to provide energy storage in second-life applications.
“We have a longstanding commitment as a leader in responsible mining, with numerous examples of our progressive business decisions across many decades and we look forward to working with Williams Advanced Engineering to deliver this important step-change technology, a true world-first for a vehicle of this size and load capacity,” said Julian Soles, Head of Technology Development for Anglo American, said in a statement.
“With their extensive industry experience, we believe Williams can help us to deliver this ground-breaking project, which is part of our plan to create a smart energy mix that moves us closer towards our carbon and energy targets for 2030 and, ultimately, our vision of operating a carbon-neutral mine.”