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Hitachi announces trial of world’s first ultra-large battery dump truck

A battery powered dump truck developed by Hitachi and ABB is currently being tested at a mine in Zambia

Hitachi Construction Machinery has announced the start of the world’s first technological feasibility trial of an ultra-large full battery rigid frame dump truck by an OEM.  

The trial, which began in June, is being conducted at First Quantum’s Kansanshi deep open-pit copper-gold mine, one of the company’s largest mines, in Zambia.  

The technological feasibility trial aims to verify the basic performance of operations required of a battery-powered dump truck – such as travelling, turning, and stopping – under actual operating loads, as well as the verification of battery charging and discharging cycles. 

The full battery dump truck was jointly developed with ABB Ltd, and is able to continuously operate practically in sites by directly charging from the overhead lines and regenerative braking system without needing to stop and charging through the adoption of the battery system developed by ABB.  

In addition, limiting the battery volume reduces the battery weight as a percentage of the overall vehicle weight and helps maximise the load capacity to display a high level of cost performance, Hitachi says.  

Hitachi began collaborating with ABB in June 2021 to develop the full battery dump truck.  

The company completed the test machine version of a full battery dump truck, and on January 20, 2024, this test machine was shipped to First Quantum.  

The assembly of the test unit was recently completed in Zambia, and the technological feasibility trial began. 

The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group says it will accelerate its efforts to put the full battery dump truck into practical use. 

“Mining companies around the world are working to reduce emissions,” says Hitachi Construction Machinery’s vice president and executive Officer, president of mining business unit, Eiji Fukunishi. 

“As an original equipment manufacturer, it is our vision to provide solutions that can reduce our customers’ environmental footprint.  

“The battery dump truck represents the future, not only for the Hitachi Construction Machinery Group but for the mining industry as a whole, and we are pleased to establish this proving ground on an active mine site and work with First Quantum on advancing this zero emission solution.” 

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