Majors push for electric vehicle innovation

25 May, 2021

BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale have recently introduced an electric vehicle innovation competition for mine truck fleets in collaboration with Austmine. The competition is referred to as the Charge On Innovation Challenge. To enter participants must present new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification. The systems must demonstrate reduced emissions while boosting productivity and safety.

According to BHP president, minerals Australia Edgar Basto, the innovations could provide immediate solutions to high emissions. Electric motors also offer less maintenance issues due to a reduced amount of moving parts compared with traditional diesel engines

“We expect the Challenge will stimulate innovative ideas, some of which could be immediately applied to existing diesel-electric equipment and help fast-track implementation of longer-term solutions,” he said.

“We understand that these challenges will not be solved overnight, but together we can find the best concepts that can be applied across the industry.”

Participants are invited from around the globe to provide innovative solutions and ideas for electric mine truck fleets. A major area of innovation will be surrounding  charging stations for electric mine trucks. A more efficient charging station will help to reduce productivity loss. 

Austmine chief executive officer Christine Gibbs Stewart said mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies will come together with the challenge to reduce emissions.

“METS and mining companies are united on the Challenge to reduce emissions across the supply chain,” Stewart said.

“We expect the Challenge will attract companies from a broad range of sectors including mining, automotive, aerospace, agriculture, and defence to deliver selected charging concepts to create a standard product that can interface with all trucks.

“We are confident that we will find a solution to the delivery of electricity to trucks in the complex operating environment of a large surface mine.”

This article is an edit from Australian Mining.