Caterpillar Demonstrates First Battery-Powered Large Mining Truck

Published on: 23 November 2022
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Caterpillar completed a successful demonstration of its first battery electric 793 large mining truck while committing to transform its Arizona-based proving ground into a sustainable testing and validation hub of the future.

Caterpillar completed the development of its first battery electric 793 prototype with support from key mining customers participating in Caterpillar’s Early Learner programme. Participants of the programme with definitive electrification agreements include BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont Corporation, Rio Tinto, and Teck Resources Limited.

The Early Learner programme launched in 2021 and focuses on accelerating the development and validation of Caterpillar’s battery electric trucks at participating customers’ sites. This method helps each Early Learner participant keep the promises they made to reduce or get rid of greenhouse gas emissions from their operations. One of the main goals of the programme is for Caterpillar to work more closely with its customers as the energy transition brings about big changes in the industry.

Early Learner customers came together to witness a live demonstration of Caterpillar’s prototype battery truck on a seven-kilometre (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 modelling capabilities. Fully loaded to its rated capacity, the truck achieved a top speed of 60 km/h (37.3 mph).

The loaded truck travelled one kilometre (0.62 mile) up a 10% grade at 12 km/h (7.5 mph). The truck also performed one kilometre (0.62 mile) run on a 10% downhill grade, capturing the energy that would normally be lost to heat and regenerating that energy for the battery. Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles.

Mine Site of the Future

The prototype truck was built at Caterpillar’s Tucson Proving Ground, located in Green Valley, Arizona. In support of the energy transition, 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 firsthand 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. The transformation of the facility will also serve as a learning platform for optimising charging and energy management integration.

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Source: Environmental Leader

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