‘Significant milestone’ for Cat’s battery electric mining truck

By Andy Brown22 November 2022

Caterpillar says that it has successfully demonstrated its first battery electric 793 large mining truck with support from key mining customers participating in the company’s Early Learner program.

Participants of the program with definitive electrification agreements include BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont Corporation, Rio Tinto and Teck Resources Limited. These customers witnessed a live demonstration of Caterpillar’s prototype battery truck on a 7km (4.3 mile) course.

During the event, Caterpillar monitored over 1,100 data channels, gathering 110,000 data points per second, to validate simulation and engineering modeling capabilities.

Fully loaded to its rated capacity, the truck achieved a top speed of 60 km/h (37.3 mph). The loaded truck travelled 1km (0.62 mile) up a 10% grade at 12km/h (7.5 mph). The truck also performed a 1km (0.62 mile) run on a 10% downhill grade, capturing the energy that would normally be lost to heat and regenerating that energy to the battery. Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles.

“Our global team came together to develop this battery truck at an accelerated pace to help our customers meet their sustainability commitments,” said Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson. “This demonstration is a significant milestone, and we are excited for these trucks to get to work at customers’ sites around the world in the near future.”

The prototype truck was built at Caterpillar’s Tucson Proving Ground in Arizona. Caterpillar is investing to transform the proving ground into a working, sustainable ‘mine site of the future’ by installing and utilising a variety of renewable energy sources. The objective is to implement the same sustainable solutions mining companies will use at their own operations to learn first-hand what it takes to run an electrified mine site and effectively support customers through the changes.

As part of the site transformation, the company will install the latest advancements in sustainability technology, including green hydrogen production, natural gas and 100% hydrogen reciprocating engine power generation, fuel cell power generation and expanded energy storage systems. The site will also leverage a variety of renewable power sources, including wind, solar and hydrogen, capable of powering the facility and its products as they become electrified.

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