The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has invested $5 million in Australian heavy-vehicle battery manufacturer 3ME Technology and its “Bladevolt” technolgoy to electrify vehicles in mining operations.
The NSW-based 3ME Technology believes its modular energy-dense lithium-ion battery systems can replace diesel engines with battery electric systems, cutting emissions and creating safer and more efficient mining operations.
3ME says Bladevolt allows remote performance monitoring and control of battery pack cells, as well as a modular design that is powerful enough to transform a 20-tonne loader into a fully electric vehicle. It can also apply to light vehicles, personnel carriers, load haul dump vehicles, and integrated tool carriers.
There are around 7,000 diesel-powered vehicles operating in more than 400 mines across Western Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales, so the potential market for 3ME Technology’s battery systems is vast.
“With … the investment backing of the CEFC, we are ready to scale up production and help the mining industry deliver better performance through lower emissions and improved operator safety,” said 3ME Technology CEO Justin Bain.
The $5 million investment from the CEFC is made on behalf of the Australian government and is part of a larger $A20 million capital raise which included $A15 million from the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF).
“The decarbonisation of Australia’s resources sector is critical to our clean energy transition and electrification has an important part to play,” said Ian Learmonth, CEFC CEO.
“Mining vehicles have unique needs and 3ME Technology’s battery system is a purpose-built solution that will enable the sector to capture more of the benefits of clean energy.”
“Electrifying mining fleet vehicles is not just good for sustainability, it makes good business sense for mines in terms of operations, health, energy efficiency and information optimisation,” added CEFC Executive Director, Western Australia and Resources Rob Wilson.