Hitachi Energy is working on a “truly interoperable” 8 MW electric charging solution for large haul trucks, with plans to conduct field trials by 2023, according to Matt Zafuto, VP, Industry Solutions, Hitachi Energy.
The solution – the same solution the company initially put forward for The Charge On Innovation Challenge – came to light earlier this year and was reported by IM in its Battery and Electric Machines feature in IM February 2022.
It leverages Hitachi Energy’s power systems capabilities, advanced digital technologies and proven track record of innovation in sustainable mobility, according to Zafuto, with the solution including hardware to safely charge and service the vehicles, systems for safe electrification of the environment, and services and expertise for collaborative industry partnerships.
IM put some questions to Zafuto to find out more.
IM: What partners are you working with on this interoperable solution?
MZ: We plan for this to be a truly interoperable system. No matter the manufacturer of their haul trucks, all mines will be able to use our solution on their road to carbon neutrality. The market is looking for haul truck manufacturers to build new electric haul trucks, and also to retrofit existing diesel-powered trucks. We’re developing our technology to be interoperable with either new builds or retrofits.
Our core partners, who will help us design the system, include others in the Hitachi group such as Hitachi Industrial Products and Hitachi Construction Machinery. Working together provides end-to-end, deep insight needed to calculate and achieve the power requirements of these mission-critical vehicles.
IM: When do you plan to have a prototype in place?
MZ: We intend to have this electric-powered haul truck solution in field trials by 2023.
IM: Where will this solution be tested and on what OEMs trucks?
MZ: We plan to coordinate with mines and implement field trials by 2023 to develop the best product possible. Our system will be interoperable, so we’ll be able to test it with any truck OEM.
IM: Can you expand on how it leverages Hitachi Energy’s power systems capabilities, advanced digital technology and proven track record of innovation in sustainable mobility?
MZ: We have a proven track record for electrifying transportation with our Grid eMotion Fleet solution. Companies and organisations around the globe rely on us to develop and automate safe, efficient and cost-effective charging infrastructure for their electric buses. In this solution, we’re combining our extensive electrification and digital technologies expertise with our deep mining knowledge, where we’ve been working for decades.
We understand both how to quickly charge and maximise the power in electric vehicles and the unique situation facing mines, from the changing mine site to the automation of the vehicles to the imperative of employee safety.
We’ve laid the groundwork for electrification at operations like the DeGrussa Mine, which reduced carbon emissions by over 30,000 t and offset 11 million litres of diesel. Hitachi Energy has also delivered enterprise asset management systems, built on almost four decades of mining data, for the likes of Centerra Gold, allowing it to more effectively allocate and use equipment and achieve a new level of business efficiency.
This electric haul-truck solution brings together these areas of expertise and will push the electric mine forward by leaps and bounds. Our solution will provide 8 MW of power in three minutes of charging, about 14 times higher than any other solution available today. With this solution, we’ll create a safe, reliable way to decarbonise one of the biggest sticking points for mines in their electric future: haul trucks.