A new prototype ultra-fast charging platform for heavy-duty applications that features the ABB Ability™ eMine FastCharge charger and MEDATech ALTDRIVE battery-electric powertrain solution is helping automate the charge of a Western Star 4900XD-e machine in a trial application.
ABB developed an integrated charging infrastructure, with the latest charger technology and a future-proof automated connection device, while MEDATech created a battery-electric powertrain that includes a charge-reception system that can be integrated into any heavy-duty vehicle.
Together with MEDATech’s complete ALTDRIVE battery-electric vehicle system, ABB’s ultra-fast charging forms a complete electric vehicle package that helps OEMs move away from diesel, according to MEDATech. Integrating ALTDRIVE into new vehicle builds will enable OEMs to fast-track their battery-electric offerings, complete with ultra-fast charging.
Offering up to 600 kW of power, the eMine FastCharge solution was launched by ABB in September as part of its ABB Ability eMine portfolio of solutions.
ABB and MEDATech have previously worked together on the conversion of the Western Star 4900 tractor to battery-electric operation, but this is the first time the two have tested the automated charging functionality of the FastCharge solution on ALTDRIVE technology.
“Designed for the harshest environments, this flexible and fully-automated solution can easily be installed anywhere, and can charge any truck, without the need of human intervention,” Mario Schmid, Project Lead Engineer at ABB, said.
Charging occurs with no help from machine operators, according to the companies. Drivers station their vehicles next to the charger and the ABB Ability eMine FastCharge does the rest. When the system senses a vehicle is near, it moves the connection pin into position and inserts it into the receptacle, carrying out charging in a fully-automated fashion.
With ABB’s charging capability matching charging cycles to the production, charging times of less than 15 minutes can be achieved, according to the companies.
On September 10, ABB and MEDATech announced the signing of an MoU to jointly explore solutions to decarbonise mining operations through charging solutions and optimised electric drive systems in BEVs for heavy-duty applications.