The world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) is a 45-ton mining dump truck nicknamed eDumper, but it may soon have to give up its title. There’s a new big boy in town, a hybrid vehicle that is powered by both electricity and a reserve of hydrogen fuel. The fuel cell EV will start its test runs at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa this year.
This machine was developed by Anglo American, based out of London. It weighs 290 tons, which equates to 580,000 pounds. Angle American hopes to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.
— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) August 29, 2019
The concept stage is over and Williams Advanced Engineering will be bringing the truck to life with a proprietary high-voltage battery system. This system is currently under development and will replace the vehicle’s diesel engine with a lithium-ion battery that has been designed for this vehicle.
“We have a longstanding commitment as a leader in responsible mining, with numerous examples of our progressive business decisions across many decades and we look forward to working with Williams Advanced Engineering to deliver this important step-change technology, a true world-first for a vehicle of this size and load capacity.” —Julian Soles, Head of Technology Development for Anglo American
“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.”
The eDumper is used to haul lime and marlstone in Switzerland and relies on pure electricity as well as physics. The hybrid beast that is aiming to take the throne will use both a lithium-ion battery and hydrogen fuel, which is a clear fuel that produces only water as a byproduct when consumed in a fuel cell. It’s produced from reforming natural gas, or can be produced from electricity from natural gas power plants, nuclear power, or renewable electricity from wind and solar power. This will allow the truck to run for longer periods of time without recharging.
Regarding this battle for the title of the world’s largest EV, the clear winner will be the environment and thus the people, as these vehicles won’t produce carbon emissions that will affect the environment.
Photo courtesy Kuhn Schweitz.