The latest round of METS Ignited project funding has seen Safescape become one of six METS companies to receive a grant designed to accelerate commercialisation of its technology.
The funding will support the continued development of the Bortana electric light vehicle, helping Safescape move from BETA test phase to full production in late 2022, according to Steve Durkin, Founder and Managing Director of Safescape.
ZERO Automotive, MyPass Global, AMOG, Universal Field Robots and 3ME Technology were the other recipients of the A$2.5 million ($1.9 million) of matched funding.
In six years of operation, METS Ignited has invested more than A$13 million in 26 projects, with over 60 industry participants, according to Safescape.
“METS Ignited have been a strong supporter of decarbonisation in the mining industry and a great supporter of the Bortana EV,” Durkin said. “From the beginning, they have offered support through advice, networking, exposure, and direct financial contributions.”
The latest round of project funding is focused on scaling commercialisation, with the six companies selected having delivered successful industry pilots and having a dedicated focus on innovation.
Safescape is currently preparing a fleet of 10 BETA phase test Bortana EVs, which will be delivered to mine sites across the country. Serial production will commence in 2023.
The Bortana EV is a battery-electric vehicle designed to handle the aggressive operating environment of underground mines. Designed and developed in Australia, the Bortana EV uses the chassis of a diesel-powered Agrale Marruá, electric technology from 3ME and Safescape’s design and engineering expertise. It is designed to tackle safety and health concerns by reducing emissions, heat, and maintenance.
Safescape is establishing facilities to support 10 vehicles per month initially with plans for maximum production capacity above 100 vehicles per month to support both Australian and export markets.