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World’s largest electric vehicle to begin testing at South African mine

Global mining company, Anglo American, has engaged Williams Advanced Engineering to develop its new fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV): an ultra-class electrically powered mining haul truck, which is set to be the world’s largest hydrogen powered mine truck.

As part of its FutureSmart Mining program, which applies innovative thinking and technological advances to address mining’s major sustainability challenges, Anglo American has committed to

According to Anglo American, putting electrified vehicles into mines – from large haul trucks to passenger vehicles and employee buses – will help the company reach its decarbonization targets, which call for reducing its global greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

The FCEV haul truck will be powered by a hydrogen Fuel Cell Module paired with a WAE scalable high-power modular lithium-ion battery system. This remarkable arrangement, which replaces the existing vehicle’s diesel engine, is controlled by a high voltage power distribution unit delivering in excess of 1,000 kWh of energy storage.

The power units will be designed and built at WAE, in Grove, Oxfordshire, and integrated into an existing mining haul truck, with testing taking place later this year at the Mogalakwena platinum group metals mining operation in South Africa, Anglo American’s flagship PGMs mine.

Through regenerative braking, the battery system will be capable of recovering energy as the haul truck travels downhill.

Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, commented: “We are delighted to be involved in this innovative and exciting project which showcases the scalability of battery technology from automotive and motorsport to “heavy duty” industrial applications. Operating within a harsh environment is something we are familiar with as sole battery supplier for the Extreme E program and we remain committed to supporting long-term sustainability projects.”

Julian Soles, head of technology development for Anglo American, added: “We have a longstanding commitment as a leader in responsible mining, with numerous examples of our progressive business decisions across many decades and we look forward to working with Williams Advanced Engineering to deliver this important step-change technology, a true world first for a vehicle of this size and load capacity.

With their extensive industry experience, we believe Williams can help us to deliver this ground-breaking project, which is part of our plan to create a smart energy mix that moves us closer towards our carbon and energy targets for 2030 and, ultimately, our vision of operating a carbon-neutral mine.”

Williams Advanced Engineering has joined forces with global mining company, Anglo American, to support the development of its hydrogen powered ultra-class electric mining haul truck. (Anglo American)

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