Volvo and Boliden Deploy Electric Trucks for Mining

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Image courtesy of https://www.volvotrucks.com/

Volvo Trucks and Boliden are teaming up to introduce electric truck transportation in underground settings.

From 2023, Boliden, the Swedish mining group, will be among the first to use battery-electric trucks for heavy underground transportation. These electric trucks offer significant advantages in mining environments, including emission-free operation, a safer workplace, and reduced noise levels.

The mining sector is rapidly changing toward more sustainable production methods to reduce the carbon footprint of metals. Boliden, like many others, is shifting towards the electrification of transport to reduce CO2 emissions, which mostly come from diesel vehicles. To achieve its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, electrification of transport is critical for Boliden.

Under the new collaboration, Boliden will deploy two heavy-duty electric Volvo trucks at its Kankberg mine, located outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden. Shifting all trucks to electric at the mine could lower CO2 emissions by over 25%.

“This is an exciting collaboration in an environment with very tough demands; steep slopes, heavy loads, and humid air that wears on the vehicles,” says Jessica Lindholm, project manager at Volvo Trucks. “The collaboration with Boliden will give us valuable knowledge about the performance of electric trucks when driven underground and provide answers to questions about how the driveline and batteries are affected. Reduced carbon dioxide emissions for mining transport also means that we, indirectly, will reduce our own CO2 emissions because the mining industry's raw materials are used in our trucks.”

Boliden's Kankberg mine will receive its first truck, a Volvo FH Electric, in 2023. It will transport equipment such as rock bolts underground. Based on the experience gained, a second Volvo FH Electric will be deployed later for transporting rock and ore.

“We see the collaboration with Volvo as a fantastic opportunity to push the electric technology forward and, at the same time, learn how to adapt our operations for a transition to fossil-free underground transport. A major benefit of the trucks is that they will contribute to a more sustainable mine, both in terms of emissions and also the working environment for our employees," comments Dennis Forslund, project manager at Boliden. “In addition, the total amount of energy consumed in the mine will be lower as the electric drive is more energy efficient than a diesel engine, and it is possible to capture the electricity regenerated during engine braking on downhill slopes.”

Volvo Trucks is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty electric trucks in Europe and the USA, with a range of six electric truck models in production. The company's electric trucks can cater to various transport requirements, from urban distribution and waste management to regional transport and construction traffic. By 2030, Volvo aims to sell 50% of its new trucks as electric.

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Source: Volvo Trucks

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