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World first trial of ultra-large full battery dump truck


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.  

It is being carried out at First Quantum’s Kansanshi deep open-pit copper-gold mine, one of the company’s largest mines in Zambia.

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

First Quantum is a leader in trolley system operations with in-house technology development and deployment, and at Kansanshi can provide Hitachi with the infrastructure and facilities that are needed to test a full battery dump truck.

These include proven overhead dynamic charging solutions and variety of haul circuits in an actual operational mining environment.

Hitachi Construction Machinery Vice President and Executive Officer, President of Mining Business Unit, Eiji Fukunishi, said the use of Kansanshi infrastructure and the collaboration with First Quantum were the key differentiators to fast tracking this evolving technology design, making it an ideal practical and commercially viable solution.

“Mining companies around the world are working to reduce emissions. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer, it is our vision to provide solutions that can reduce our customers’ environmental footprint,” he said.

“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.”

The full battery dump truck was jointly developed with ABB, a technology leader in electrification and automation.

Based on Hitachi Construction Machinery’s extensive experience with dump trucks equipped with trolley dynamic charging systems, the full battery dump truck 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.

With environmental awareness on the rise in the mining industry, there is growing interest in the electrification of mining machinery as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

To meet the high customer demand for the electrification of dump trucks in particular, which are operated in large numbers at mining sites, Hitachi Construction Machinery began collaborating with ABB in June 2021 to develop the full battery dump truck.

The Hitachi Construction Machinery Group will accelerate its efforts to put the full battery dump truck into practical use while engaging in co-creation with customers to help achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from mining machinery.

Features being jointly developed

1. Controls the initial and lifecycle costs

By drawing the electrical power from the dynamic charging system required during operation will limit the volume of batteries on the trucks, providing a sustainable solution. In addition, the system aims to reduce the lifecycle costs and environmental impact through life cycle assessment by drawing electrical power from the overhead system while connected, simultaneously charging the battery in an appropriate manner to reduce the load and depth of discharge.

2. Reduces the vehicle weight and maximises the load capacity

Limiting the battery volume lessens the weight of the battery solution on the vehicle, maximising the battery dump truck’s payload capacity.

3. Dynamic charging solution to provide a higher rate of operation over static charging

The solution draws electrical power from the dynamic charging system during operation while simultaneously charging the battery, removing the need to stop the vehicle for recharging. Therefore, it achieves a higher rate of continuous operation to maintain productivity at site.



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