Caterpillar demonstrates first battery electric large mining truck

The truck achieved a top speed of 60km/h, while maintaining enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles

Caterpillar has successfully completed a demonstration of its first battery electric 793 large mining truck, the company has announced.

The firm said it has completed development of the 793 prototype, with support from key mining customers participating in Caterpillar’s Early Learner program. Participants of the program with definitive electrification agreements include BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont Corporation, Rio Tinto and Teck Resources Limited.

The manufacturer said it would also be investing significantly in transforming its Arizona-based proving ground into a sustainable testing and validation hub of the future.

In September 2022, Caterpillar inked a deal to replace the haul truck fleet at a Chilean mine.

“Our global team came together to develop this battery truck at an accelerated pace to help our customers meet their sustainability commitments,” said Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson. “This demonstration is a significant milestone, and we are excited for these trucks to get to work at customers’ sites around the world in the near future.”

The Early Learner program launched in 2021 and focuses on accelerating the development and validation of Caterpillar’s battery electric trucks at participating customers’ sites. A primary objective of the program is for Caterpillar to collaborate more closely with its customers as the industry undergoes transformational change through the energy transition, the firm said.

During the demonstration, Early Learner customers observed the prototype battery truck operate on a seven-kilometre course. According to Caterpillar, it monitored over 1,100 data channels, gathering 110,000 data points per second, to validate simulation and engineering modeling capabilities.

In late September 2022, the company said it had surpassed five billion tonnes of material hauled autonomously.

Fully loaded to its rated capacity, the truck achieved a top speed of 60km/h. The loaded truck traveled one kilometre up a 10% grade at 12km/h. The truck also performed a one kilometre run on a 10% downhill grade, capturing the energy that would normally be lost to heat and regenerating that energy to the battery. Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles.

In early November 2022, Caterpillar launched new landscape attachments for earth-moving equipment.

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