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The leading construction and mining equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar (CAT), is plowing ahead with plans to advance sustainable mining. Caterpillar successfully tested its first battery electric 793 large mining truck.

Caterpillar held a demonstration yesterday showcasing the abilities of its massive 793 electric mining truck while announcing a “significant investment” to convert its Tuscan, Arizona, proving grounds into a sustainable testing and demo site for future electric products.
According to Caterpillar, the demonstration was made possible through crucial mining customers participating in its Early Learners Program, such as BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont, and Rio Tinto.
Group president of Caterpillar, Denise Johnson, explained the significance of its new large electric mining truck for customers, stating:
Our global team came together to develop this battery truck at an accelerated pace to help our customers meet their sustainability commitments. This demonstration is a significant milestone, and we are excited for these trucks to get to work at customers’ sites around the world in the near future.
Caterpillar initially created the program in 2021 with a focus on advancing the development of battery electric trucks for sustainable mining operations while offering mining customers an opportunity to test and validate them.



Caterpillar’s EV mining truck demonstration results
During the demo, Caterpillar’s large 793 electric mining truck plowed through a 4.3-mile (7 km) course. With the EV truck fully loaded to its rated capacity, it achieved a top speed of 37.3 mph (60 km/h) and traveled 0.62 miles (1 km) up a 10% grade at 7.5 mph.

In addition, the large Caterpillar EV mining truck completed a 0.62-mile (1 km) test on a 10% downhill grade. Perhaps, most importantly, the e-mining truck was able to capture the energy normally lost to heat, redirecting the energy back to the battery.
After the demo was completed, Caterpillar said the 793 truck had enough energy left to perform more tasks if needed.

To advance the progress, Caterpillar says its working to transform its Tucson, Arizona, proving ground into a functional “sustainable mine site of the future” by utilizing several renewable energy sources.
Johnson adds:
The transformation of the Tucson Proving Ground allows Caterpillar to demonstrate our energy transition commitments and serve as a stronger advisor to customers as we navigate the changes together. We know it will take an integrated, site-level solution for miners to achieve their carbon-reduction goals, and we’re here to help as they redefine the way they mine for generations to come.
As Caterpillar implements full battery electric technology into its equipment, the company says it will use clean energy sources like solar, wind, and hydrogen that will be capable of powering its facility and products.
You can watch Caterpillar’s demonstration here on YouTube.


Electrek’s Take
Although Caterpillar has been utilizing electric drive for several years now (at least 2008) due to its high low-end torque, superior control, and reliability, the company is now swapping its diesel engine for a battery to further reduce emissions.

Electric drive has been used in heavy-duty equipment for some time because of these reasons. However, as battery tech advances, you can expect to see more fully electric options being used in construction, mining, etc.

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It will be interesting to see these things implemented at the mines and things, especially ones running a 24/7 operation. Then see how it all pans out :unsure: .
AU miners like Fortescue have been very public about implementing Industrial EV usage and reducing their carbon footprint. Clearly stated, they view the above ‘green agenda’ as crucial to their future business success.

 

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I take it this truck replaces all the child/slave labor too? What a deal!
 

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I'd like to see more of the technical details. If I read this correctly, the total test loop was just under 5 miles at speeds between 7.5 and 37.3 mph. Even with an average speed as low as 10mph this is only ~30 minutes of use, if the average speed is higher then the run time will be less again. They say there is enough battery reserve left to "do some more tasks" but being that vague, I'd assume there's not a lot left. I wonder how long it's then going to take to recharge it? I get that it's a prototype but to me it proves there's still likely a long way to go before it's truly commercially viable.
 

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I'd like to see more of the technical details. If I read this correctly, the total test loop was just under 5 miles at speeds between 7.5 and 37.3 mph. Even with an average speed as low as 10mph this is only ~30 minutes of use, if the average speed is higher then the run time will be less again. They say there is enough battery reserve left to "do some more tasks" but being that vague, I'd assume there's not a lot left. I wonder how long it's then going to take to recharge it? I get that it's a prototype but to me it proves there's still likely a long way to go before it's truly commercially viable.
Don't worry be happy! Look at all the break time those crews will be getting. This is a win-win. :whistle::geek:
 

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Are the power demands too great to set up overhead lines where they can constantly get electricity for 90% of their runs and then have on board batteries to move in areas that don't have overhead lines set up?

I imagine the power demands are insane for these behemoths so I would guess that's the problem otherwise there's nothing to really be in the way to have something setup similar to below.

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I can't see 'overhead power lines' in a strip or pit mine.
Yup. I CAN see using what actually works, which would be diesel powah. Are we not teaching the ABCs in skoolz any more? First rule of work: It's gotta work. :rolleyes:
 

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Interesting. Cool too. Let’s not pretend that digging up stuff via mining Mother Earth doesn’t have environmental impacts/consequences too. Like I said all transportation vehicles no matter what powers them EV, ICE etc. are bad for the environment.
 

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Interesting. Cool too. Let’s not pretend that digging up stuff via mining Mother Earth doesn’t have environmental impacts/consequences too. Like I said all transportation vehicles no matter what powers them EV, ICE etc. are bad for the environment.
Indeed, sir. And yet some, over time, may prove to be less impactful?
 

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Yup. I CAN see using what actually works, which would be diesel powah. Are we not teaching the ABCs in skoolz any more? First rule of work: It's gotta work. :rolleyes:
Skoolz are a prime target for "sustainability" and globaloney warming propaganda.

As for Caterpillar Inc., the company boasts it "is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, off-highway diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives". The company's continued success is contingent upon offering a combination of diesel, natural gas, and lektrik (including hybrid diesel-electric) powerplants.
 

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I'd like to see more of the technical details. If I read this correctly, the total test loop was just under 5 miles at speeds between 7.5 and 37.3 mph. Even with an average speed as low as 10mph this is only ~30 minutes of use, if the average speed is higher then the run time will be less again. They say there is enough battery reserve left to "do some more tasks" but being that vague, I'd assume there's not a lot left. I wonder how long it's then going to take to recharge it? I get that it's a prototype but to me it proves there's still likely a long way to go before it's truly commercially viable.
I saw that too "power left to do more" sounds pretty vague and dubious. I'm thinking that means the battery tech isn't there yet, otherwise we'd be reading about them selling this truck vs. merely testing it.

Though I'm guessing that mines would like BEV for its torque and simpler driveline, I'm assuming with these massive loads it puts a lot of stress on the trucks. I'm a big fan of "Gold Rush Alaska", they are constantly having truck issues, though admittedly more with hydraulics & tires, etc. vs. the actual engines.
 

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Are the power demands too great to set up overhead lines where they can constantly get electricity for 90% of their runs and then have on board batteries to move in areas that don't have overhead lines set up?

I imagine the power demands are insane for these behemoths so I would guess that's the problem otherwise there's nothing to really be in the way to have something setup similar to below.

View attachment 68165
I'd think this would be impractical in a mine environment as the mine is constantly "moving" where you are actually mining with each scoop taken out of the ground - they'd have to constantly be adding to the wire loop and moving it. And then there is the issue of excavators hitting the wires when loading the truck, blasting impacts, etc..
 

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What percent of vehicle weight is battery here? I'll guess over fitty percent.
 

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I think large vehicles like this need multiple charging ports. Kind of like big rigs have two diesel tanks that can be filled simultaneously.

I don’t doubt their technical ability to do the work. The concern as others have questioned is the weight impact due to the batteries and the down time when charging.
 
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