WAE and Fortescue to develop electric mining haul truck

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Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) has announced a new partnership with Fortescue Metals Group to create a battery electric mining haul truck.

The project will involve the design and construction of a bespoke battery electric powertrain, with the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill. After being built at WAE’s facility in Grove, Oxfordshire, the battery will be shipped to Perth, Australia for integration into a 240-tonne prototype haul truck for performance testing at Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara, West Australia.

To support the implementation of a battery-electric haulage fleet, the partnership will also involve the development of a fast charging unit which will harness renewable energy from Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect Network.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet and Fortescue is committed to tackling this challenge head-on through our industry-leading target to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040,” said Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines. “This includes a 26 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from existing operations from 2020 levels by 2030. With around a quarter of these emissions attributed to our mobile haul fleet, this represents a significant opportunity to drive our pathway to being diesel-free.”

Craig Wilson, managing director, WAE added: “We are delighted to be working with Fortescue on this pioneering project that will help enable their future decarbonisation strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector. High performance battery systems are at the core of WAE. Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.”

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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