Japanese firm Hitachi Construction Machinery and ABB Traction have achieved a significant milestone in their collaborative effort to develop a massive, fully electric dump truck designed for demanding operations.
The completion of their first prototype marks a key stage in the initiative initially announced in 2021, aiming to convert Hitachi's fleet of 2500 HP EH4000 244-ton diesel mining trucks into electric vehicles.
The unique perspective taken by ABB involved not just focusing on the operational tasks but also on managing the energy required for the work. The envisioned solution includes a “trolley-like” overhead power connection (depicted in a rendering) to assist in transporting laden trucks out of the mine.
Additionally, the design incorporates the truck's mass to recover energy through regenerative braking during the descent, offering a combined trolley/gravity energy solution. This approach is anticipated to allow the electric trucks to undertake substantial work without the need for extensive megawatt-hour battery packs.
Fabiana Cavalcante, Head of Mobile e-Power at ABB Traction, expressed satisfaction with the collaboration, stating, “The project is not only helping to tackle the issues involved in dump truck electrification but is also contributing to enabling a low-carbon world through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to seeing the prototype prove its capability in the Zambian copper-gold mine.”
Following successful in-factory testing, the prototype has been transported to the Kansanshi copper-gold mine in Africa. The next steps involve completing a demonstration and final testing program on-site, with the objective of finalizing a new build specification later in 2024.