World’s Largest Battery Powered Dump Truck is Being Developed

Komatsu HD605-7

Komatsu HD605-7

As electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular around the world, researchers are trying to find ways to adapt the technology to heavier duty applications.  Due to the large size of projects and amount of money in the industry, the mining industry has seen its fair share of technological advancement. Several manufacturers, like Komatsu, have developed and released driverless dump trucks for mining operations in the past few years.  A team of companies in Switzerland is now working on a gigantic battery powered dump truck that will be tested for 10 years.

Using the body of a used Komatsu HD 605-7, a 50 ton (45 metric ton) behemoth of a vehicle, the research group will replace its existing diesel engine with a 5 ton (4.5 metric ton) battery pack that provides 700 kWh of storage capacity. 700kWh is as much as 8 Tesla Model S cars.

When the truck travels downhill into a quarry, it will actually generate more electricity which will power it back up the hill.  The group hopes that the power generated going downhill will actually be more than is required by the uphill travel with an empty load, allowing it to work longer without a charge.  Over its 10 year test, it will be expected to transport material from a mountain ridge down to a valley around 20 times per day.

The vehicle will travel through slopes up to a 13% incline and each decline is expected to generate 40 kWh. The project is expected to cost in the millions of dollars. 

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