Huber Automotive AG has presented an optimised version of its RUN-E Electric Cruiser, an emission-free power package designed for mining applications.
Like the original version, the RUN-E Electric Cruiser is designed for use in extreme environments, but the electrified version of the Toyota Land Cruiser J7 ensures improved air quality, reduced noise pollution and operating cost savings underground, according to the company.
This new, optimised version of the Electric Cruiser follows several deployments in the underground mining field. According to Mathias Koch, Key Account Manager for Huber Automotive’s Hybrid & E-Drive division, units have been on duty since mid-2016 in German salt mines. The company has also sent vehicles to Chile, Canada, South Africa and Australia. Meanwhile, units to be delivered in the March quarter to Germany, Ireland and Canada are likely to benefit from the latest updates.
The E-drive system on the new version consists of series components from suppliers such as Bosch, all of which are arranged in a new architecture to integrate the “individual characteristic strengths”, Huber said.
This is made possible by the core of the system: “an innovative control unit from Huber Automotive AG, which, based on a 32-bit power architecture, causes the individual components to perform at their best under ideal thermal conditions”, it said.
The central vehicle control system of the automotive supplier integrates all system-relevant components, regulates the energy management of the high- and low-voltage system and coordinates brake energy recovery depending on the driving situation as well as the charging and safety management conditions.
“Moreover, it monitors all control and regulation processes with regard to functional safety,” the company said.
The latest update to the E-Drive Kit uses a new battery with a capacity of 35 kWh and high recuperation capability, specially developed for heavy-duty use. The additional customising for mine operations ensures the certified and homologated battery is safe and robust, Huber says.
“Crash tested, waterproof and housed in a fireproof case, the new battery has extensive sensor technology, including CO2 and humidity sensors,” it added. “As a control level, it supports an intelligent thermal runway warning and protection system to provide the best possible safety – especially underground.”
This system operates at both module and cell level, including partial automatic shutdown, to guarantee early warning in the event of irregularities and to prevent self-ignition and total failure in case of small short circuits, Huber explains. The powerful battery not only operates safely but also efficiently and guarantees a range of up to 150 km on-road and 80-100 km off-road.
The RUN-E Electric Cruiser has an output of 90 kW with a maximum torque of 1,410 Nm. Speeds of up to 130 km/h are possible on-road, and up to 35 km/h in off-road terrain with a 15% gradient. In its standard version, it can handle gradients up to 45%, and, with the “high-off-road” option, it achieves the theoretical value of 95%, Huber says. Additional packages, such as battery cooling or heating, and an air conditioning system, allow the electric car to be adapted to the individual conditions of each mine.