Monster EVs: Copper Mine Trucks to Run on Electricity

At the Aitik mine in Sweden, there are massive Caterpillar 795F mining trucks that do the heavy lifting. These trucks have tires that are 15 feet tall, and haul 310 ton loads of rock up steep inclines, and work all day and all night, 365 days of the year. At the largest open pit copper mine in Sweden, the 30 truck fleet moves 70 million tons of rock each year. Although there is significant value in what they are moving: approximately 97,5000 tons of copper, 2.9 tons of gold, and 62 tons of silver, they are using incredible amounts of fuel. Per hour, these trucks consume over 100 gallons of diesel fuel. Caterpillar is now converting some trucks to run on electric power from overhead wires, as batteries would be too big for practical use. Although the preliminary design will have these trucks moving back and forth, just half a mile over and 200 feet up, they will be moving much faster than the existing trucks. If powered by electricity, they can handle 4.75 MW of power, and will drive twice as fast as the current diesel trucks in use. Looking at the economics, and environmental benefits of the switch to electric-powered trucks, it’s a clear win-win.

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