HITACHI has expanded its electric dump truck range through its collaboration with German electric mobility company ABB and is now offering three rigid models with payloads rating up to 296 tonne. It has already put a prototype on trial at a copper-gold mine in Zambia.

Haulpaks Utilise Cutting-Edge Battery Systems

The Hitachi EH Series dump trucks (Haulpaks) differ from current EV trucks by using a new onboard electric system that draws energy from a trolley supply to power the motor directly, as well as charging a battery energy storage system.

When running downhill, the regenerative braking system charges the battery which reduces the charging load when the truck is connected to the trolley.  This enables the truck to stay in continuous operation with no charging breaks which maintains high productivity.

In addition, its sophisticated battery energy and thermal management system maximises battery service life. In operation on level ground the dump truck will run on its internal battery.

Launch Caps Off 3-Year Project

Hitachi and ABB shipped its first trial unit in January to the Kansanshi copper-gold mine in Zambia where the demonstration and final testing program will be performed during the year.

The development project started in 2021 with the aim to meet the growing demand for electric dump trucks in the mining sector and help decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Electric dump trucks are already in use in global mining operations, including within Australia. Manufacturers now supplying EV Haulpaks include Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi and Liebherr.

Collaboration Aims to Lower Mining Sector Emissions

The Hitachi-ABB collaboration converts Hitachi’s trucks to EV with the new battery technology and highly energy-efficient DC/DC converters. ABB Traction said the latest trial will help tackle the issues involved in dump truck electrification, while also contributing to enabling a low-carbon world through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

It said that switching dump trucks from diesel engines to electric drive trains will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in mining operations. Australia’s biggest miner, BHP, is also testing Haulpaks with electric motors charged by renewable power.

In a report, it said moving to electric Haulpaks was a way to reduce fossil fuel use that currently accounts for 40 percent of the company’s carbon emissions. Its program to reduce that 40 percent diesel emission total will mean it will have to electrify its fleet of 650 heavy-haul trucks.

It is now working with Caterpillar on an EV program that includes retrofitting Haulpaks with electric drives and batteries.

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