Caterpillar launches first battery electric large mining truck

Caterpillar Inc, has unveiled its first battery electric large mining truck and performed its first live demonstration on a 4.3-mile course fully loaded.

The prototype 793 rigid-frame dump truck was developed at Caterpillar’s Tucson Proving Ground, located in Green Valley, Arizona. The construction and mining equipment manufacturing giant completed development of the electric truck with support from key mining customers participating in Caterpillar’s Early Learner program. Participants of the program with definitive electrification agreements included BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont Corporation, Rio Tinto and Teck Resources Limited.


During the demonstration, Caterpillar monitored over 1,100 data channels, gathering 110,000 data points per second, to validate simulation and engineering modelling capabilities. The battery-electric truck clocked a top speed of 37.3 mph on its 4.3-mile test, similar to the diesel model. It travelled .62 miles up a 10% grade at 7 mph and .62 miles downhill at a 10% grade.

Cat further noted that on the downhill section the truck captured energy “that would normally be lost to heat” and returned it to the battery. This is a process known as regenerative braking in which energy lost when applying the brakes or taking pressure off the accelerator pedal is captured and used to recharge the battery.

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“Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles. Our global team came together to develop this battery truck at an accelerated pace to help our customers meet their sustainability commitments. 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,” said t Denise Johnson, Resource Industries Group President.



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