Zero emissions trucks will be an increasingly common sight in the mining, energy and logistics sectors as industries look to new ways to decarbonise, and save money.
Three more examples of these sectors making moves towards battery electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric trucks highlight the transition to reducing emissions in Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
One of the developments that has caught our attention is news that what is thought the world’s largest mining truck – bigger than the 63 tonne eDumper that rose to fame in 2019 – will be available in Australia.
In a report on Australian Mining in August, it was revealed that Belarus-based Belaz, which is working on a 90 tonne battery electric model unceremoniously dubbed the 7558E, has inked a deal with its eponymous local arm to provide dump trucks to Australian mines.
“These include developing the world’s biggest twin engine electric-drive mining dump truck with 450-tonne payload capacity. The innovation has continued with BELAZ developing a zero emission all-battery electric drive EV 90 tonne 7558E dump truck,” Belaz Australia national sales manager, Shane Dinsdale was quoted as saying in the report.
According to IM Mining, the 90 tonne electric 7558E is a behemoth packing 15 lithium-ion battery modules, made by South Korea’s Enertech with a nickel–manganese–cobalt oxide (NMC) composition for a total energy capacity of 765kWh.
Battery packs for the upcoming 7558E were slated to arrive in July for implementation in the first 7558E prototypes, reports IM Mining.
Whether or not this vehicle will be made available to the Australian mining industry is yet to be determined – we have reached out to Belaz Australia for confirmation on this.
Hydrogen for Hiringa Energy
On the other side of the pond, New Zealand-based Hiringa Energy has announced that it has signed an significant agreement with fuel cell electric truck developer Hyzon Motors to supply “heavy goods vehicles” (HGVs) to the energy company.
Under the agreement, Hyzon will provide 1,500 hydrogen fuel cell trucks to Hiringa and its partners from 2021 to 2026 to help drive down to “unlocking widespread adoption of zero emission heavy transport.”
The 50 tonne and over trucks will be provided as right-hand drive including 8×4 and 6×4 rigid and prime movers with a driving range of up to 500km before needing to refuel.
Hiringa CTO Dan Kahn said in a statement that, “This is an exciting milestone for Hiringa Energy and our partners. It comes on the back of over three years of detailed planning and analysis working together with heavy fleet operators, government and leading technology vendors such as HYZON Motors.
“The FCEV truck market is growing rapidly, with enormous demand coming out of the US and Europe. We look forward to getting these trucks on our roads early next year and putting them through their paces prior to widespread rollout for the New Zealand trucking industry in 2022.
“These exciting trucks are a flavour of what’s to come with the growing applications for FCEV commercial and heavy vehicles in New Zealand.”
High voltage in London
Over in London, Volta Trucks has launched the 16 tonne Volta Zero, a pod-like vehicle designed for inner city parcel and freight logistics.
Volta says that it has designed the Zero without traditional truck standards in mind. Rather, it has focussed on safety and visibility at the core of its design.
This includes a much lower seating position with an eyeline of about 1.8 metres, 220 degrees of direct vision around the vehicle thanks to a “glasshouse-style” cab.
Additionally, cameras ensure a full 360 degrees of vision while cognitive overload for the driver is minimised with an easy-to-use central display.
Starting in the first half of 2021, the company says it will begin trials of the Volta Zero with big name European freight companies, and that orders have already been taken by early adopter companies for first deliveries in 2022.
“Commercial vehicles form the lifeblood of commerce and livelihoods in cities, but today’s large trucks dangerously impose themselves on our streets and dominate their surroundings,” said Rob Fowler, CEO of Volta Trucks, in a statement.
“With the launch of the Volta Zero, we are changing the face of road transport. Volta Trucks is redefining the perception of the large commercial vehicle, and how it operates in and integrates with, the zero-emission towns and cities of the future.
“This is made possible by the three pillars that define both Volta Trucks as a business and the Volta Zero – safety, sustainability, and electrification.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.