Rio Tinto, BHP puts battery-electric haul trucks to the test

Photo: Komatsu

Rio Tinto and BHP announced a collaboration on the testing of large battery-electric haul trucks in Western Australia’s Pilbara region to accelerate the potential for future deployment.

The two miners will work with Caterpillar and Komatsu to conduct independent trials of their battery-electric haul trucks, including testing of battery and charging systems, to assess performance and productivity in the Pilbara. 

“There is no clear path to net zero without zero-emissions haulage, so it’s important that we work together to get there as quickly and efficiently as we can. Testing two types of battery-electric haul trucks in Pilbara conditions will provide better data, and by combining our efforts with BHP we will accelerate learning,” said Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott.

“As we work to repower our Pilbara operations with renewable energy, collaborations like this move us closer to solving the shared challenge of decarbonising our operations, and meeting our net zero commitments.”

As part of the collaboration, two Cat 793 haul trucks will be trialled from the second half of 2024, and two Komatsu 930 haul trucks tested from 2026 at Pilbara mine sites.

“We’ve already seen a step-change reduction in Scope 1 and 2 operational greenhouse gas emissions through switching some of our supply to renewable electricity, and we are looking to build on that progress through development of battery-electric technology to reduce diesel usage across our operations,” said BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery.

In 2021, Rio Tinto and BHP worked with both Caterpillar and Komatsu to support the development and validation of their prototype battery-electric haul trucks. The trucks included in these trials are based on those prototypes.

Source: Rio Tinto

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