Electric behemoth

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

The world’s largest electric vehicle is working in a Swiss quarry

The eDumper produces 200kWh of surplus energy every day

A quarry in Biel, Switzerland, is operating the world's largest electric vehicle, a 110-ton dump truck, to haul lime and marl off the side of a mountain to a cement factory.

The dump truck, at 45 tons, ascends the 13-percent grade and takes on 65 tons of ore. With more than double the weight going back down the hill, its regenerative braking system recaptures enough energy to recharge the eDumper.

The Elektro Dumper – eDumper for short – made by Kuhn Schweitz, is based on a Komatsu HB 605-7: 30 feet long, 14 feet wide and 14 feet tall (9.1m x 4.3m x 4.3m). The tyres are six feet high (1.8m), and the dump bed reaches to more than 28 feet (8.5m), fully raised.

Kuhn Schweitz adds a 600kWh battery pack – big enough for six, long-range Tesla Model Ses – from Lithium Storage that weighs 9,000 pounds (4,082kg).

CNN recently brought Formula 1 driver Lucas DiGrassi along to test drive the machine, owned by Swiss cement company Ciments Vigier SA. He reported reaching the top of the grade with 80 per cent, then recovering battery charge to 88 per cent on the way down.

Marking that trip around 20 times a day, Kuhn Schweitz says the eDumper produces 200kWh of surplus energy every day, or 77MWh a year. A typical dump truck uses between 11,000 and 22,000 gallons (41,640 and 83,279 litres) of diesel fuel a year. That saves up to 196 metric tons of global-warming carbon-dioxide gas a year.

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