The largest electric fleet of transport vehicles in the Chilean mining industry has been unveiled in Antofagasta by SQM in partnership with transport companies Viggo GrandLeasing, Transportes CVU and Andes Motor, as part of their sustainability plans to reduce their CO2 emissions, SQM says.
Consisting of 34 fully-electric vehicles, the fleet includes passenger buses, minibuses, vans, mobile solar checkpoints, and what it says is Chile’s first high-tonnage electric truck, making it the most diverse electric fleet in use across an entire mining operation in the country.
With the launch of the new fleet, SQM says it is on track to achieve carbon neutrality in all its products by 2040. This follows on from the company’s announcement at the end of 2021 that it was joining the UN’s Race to Zero program. SQM had already introduced Chile’s first high-tonnage electric truck, a 28 t Yutong ZKH5310ZLJP6BEV, to be used in large-scale mining onto an 86-km route from the company’s Coya Sur plant in María Elena to the port of Tocopilla, saving approximately 3,840 t/y of CO2.
The vehicles were presented on the esplanade of the Huanchaca Ruins in Antofagasta, at an event that was attended by various regional and community leaders, as well as executives and representatives from SQM and its partners. The introduction of the electric vehicles in northern Chile is especially significant as it supports efforts at a national level to decentralise electric mobility in Chile, SQM said.
José Miguel Berguño, Vice President of Corporate Services at SQM, said: “As a company we are proud to launch this fleet, contributing to the development of national electromobility and promoting the use of electric vehicles in the north of Chile, covering the regions of Antofagasta and Tarapacá, focusing on operational areas of our sites and on the transfer of all workers of SQM who live throughout the national territory.”