Meet the world’s largest hydrogen and electric powered hybrid mining truck!

Hydrogen fuel cells have recently been starting to get used as a power source . A mining company from Britain, Anglo American, and a technology and engineering company, also from UK, Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) joined hands to develop the world’s largest hydrogen plus electric powered mining truck. This truck is designed to be super feisty and carbon neutral!

The previous largest electric vehicle was the eDumper which is a 45-ton mining dump truck and uses only electricity as its energy source.

The fuel cell electric mining truck is still under process – most of the work is done and only the electric systems are left to be worked on. The truck is going to be a big beasty once finished. It has a weight of 580,000 pounds or 290 tons and a reserve of hydrogen fuel in it. Williams Advanced Engineering is one who is dealing with the electricity and voltage systems. The truck uses Lithium-ion batteries, like other EVs, but also includes a hydrogen storage and working system. Combing the two energy sources, the truck will have a total energy storage of 1000kW-hr. The truck also has a fuel cell installed which will provide energy, to store energy in the battery, when needed.

Hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity by combing hydrogen and oxygen in an electro-chemical environment, similar to normal electric batteries. This hydrogen can be obtained from a multitude of sources, including nuclear power, natural gas, biomass and renewable power sources such as solar power and wind energy. Hydrogen fuel cells only produce water as a by-product. This hydrogen fuel cell guarantees the truck working even when out of battery and in case of emergency, as the reserved fuel can be used whenever the electric battery runs out.

“We are delighted to be involved in this innovative and exciting project which showcases the scalability of battery technology from automotive and motorsport to ‘heavy duty’ industrial applications,” said Craig Wilson who is the managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering.

The driving goal behind the introduction of such a truck was to bring carbon neutrality to the mining fields, too. Carbon is one of the key pollutants of the environment, and all major automobile companies are introducing carbon-neutral vehicles. The commercialization of a carbon neutral mining vehicle will be a breakthrough towards a better environment as the mining industry yields a lot of carbon-based pollution because of the heavy machinery involved .Carbon is a key green house gas and Anglo American has committed itself to reducing the global greenhouse gas production and emission by 30 percent by 2030.

“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.”, said Julian Soles who is the Head of Technology Development of Anglo American.

The truck’s testing is expected to start by the end of 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Image: © WAE

h/t: Popular Mechanics

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