Newcastle-based Matt Mobile Equipment has landed a $4.5 million grant from the federal government to build heavy-duty battery electric vehicles for underground hard rock mines, and help miners move away from dangerous diesel machines.
The funding will help build battery electric mining vehicles that Batt Mobile Equipment expects will be “Australia’s first commercially and operationally viable alternative to a diesel fleet.”
It follows news last week that one coal mine in Queensland is already using electric utes as “relay” vehicles in underground situations, again to replace diesel and remove the risk of diesel fumes, and has recently installed an EV charger.
Another recipient of funds from the Modern Manufacturing Initiative include Tasmania’s Elphinstone, which will receive $5.1 million to develop its own range of battery-powered underground mining support vehicles.
Another $3.9 million will go towards Australian Vanadium Limited in Western Australia as it looks to fast-track manufacturing of large-scale vanadium redox flow battery systems that can be used to support residential power grids, or in off-grid settings such as mining, agriculture, and remote communities.
Similarly, Brisbane METS Lab No. 1 will receive $1.2 million in funding towards developing its own vanadium processing plant.