Caterpillar (CAT), which manufactures equipment for mines around the world, has launched its first-ever battery electric 793 mining truck, a massive zero-emissions, green vehicle.

The truck is one of a fleet of 35 that CAT rolled out to a mine in Australia and is part of the wider mining industry’s efforts to go greener.

The recipient of the truck fleet is the new iron ore mine Gudai-Darri, located in Pilbara, Western Australia, owned by Rio Tinto. This was where the truck had its first run and live demonstration.

Various mining giants and stakeholders invested in the truck’s development, with large companies specifically doing so in a bid to make their brand cleaner and greener.

About the 793 and Caterpillar’s mission to mining’s energy transition

Features of the battery electric 793 mining trucks:

  • One truck can haul approximately 265 tonnes

  • The truck can reach a speed of up to 60km/h with a full load

  • In testing the truck on a 10% downhill grade, it was able to do a 1 km run – in doing so, it stored back energy in its battery that would normally be used up as heat

All of the above were found in the demonstration of the truck at the mine, which its stakeholders attended. During the demonstration, 1,100 data channels on the truck’s performance were tracked by CAT.

CAT is constantly exploring and developing new ways to help clean up mining

The manufacturer has been planning and producing clean energy solutions and technologies for mine operations and transport at its ‘testing ground’, its Proving Ground in Arizona, US. The Proving Ground is a large, dusty area of land where CAT can test out its creations.

It is currently committed to helping mining companies lower their carbon emissions with its solutions and is trialling technologies powered by both hybrid and renewable energy. It is experimenting with natural gas, pure hydrogen, green hydrogen production, the generation of fuel cell power, and energy storage systems.

Electricity at the Proving Ground site will come from solar and wind energy as CAT works on installing these renewable energy systems.

The rollout of the 793s indicates real and exciting progress in mining’s transition to low-carbon operations, and we can’t wait to see future technologies that come to the world, and hopefully Africa.

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