China’s Fambition reveals its BEV loader ambitions

IM recently sat down with Ning Xiaofeng, President of Qingdao Fambition Heavy Machinery Co. Ltd, at the Exponor 2024 mining event in Antofagasta, Chile. As one of the leading Chinese manufacturers of underground mining equipment, Fambition considers Chile an important market. The company delivered four 10 t LHDs to Codelco in late 2019 and maintains a warehouse and support team in Rancagua.

Xiaofeng shared updates on the company’s fleet electrification plans. Fambition already offers electric versions of its LHDs – the FL07E, FL10E, and FL14E in the 7, 10, and 14 t classes. These models feature an electro-hydraulic controlled variable flow system, a constant tension induction automatic control cable-reel system, and an on-board display that provides real-time operating parameters and self-diagnosis capabilities. Standard features include a visible remote control system, with options for an automatic centralised lubrication system and an Ansul centralised fire protection system.

Fambition already has a well established range of cable tethered electric models like the LF14E

Xiaofeng revealed that Fambition has now developed a battery-electric FL07B LHD, which will debut at the Bauma China show from November 26-29 in Shanghai. Discussing the transition to electric equipment, Xiaofeng said: “This battery loader improves three aspects: air quality by eliminating diesel particulates, reduced noise, and better working conditions for the operator, including ergonomic enhancements.”

The company already has a significant number of cable-tethered loaders operating in China, with the 10 t FL10E being the most popular model, primarily used in iron ore and copper mines.

What’s driving the shift from cable to full BEV? “Our customers are asking for a full battery model,” Xiaofeng explained. “We are also solving a transportation problem, as machine fleets in China often move to new operations within the same mining complex. With cable machines, you need to set up the cable infrastructure, whereas battery machines can be more easily moved between mines.”

Fambition started with the 7 t model because it is a commonly used size in China. Additionally, China leads the world in battery technology and production. Xiaofeng noted that China’s strict battery safety regulations and procedures made the 7 t model the best initial option, as the battery pack size is more mature and meets all necessary safety regulations for underground mining.

While there is no launch customer yet, a letter of intent has been signed with a mine operator to conduct an initial trial with the machine in a currently non-working mine to carry out safety tests in real mine conditions.

The first model will feature a plug-in charging system, with plans for future models to include a battery swap option. Xiaofeng also mentioned that the goal is to market the FL07B globally, not just in China. In the long run, although batteries are more environmentally friendly than diesel, especially when powered by renewable energy, he believes technologies like hydrogen combustion engines will likely replace current battery-driven technologies in the near future.