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Massive Fortescue mining truck battery

Metal Tech News - January 23, 2023

1.4 MWh battery designed by WAE for Liebherr haul truck charges in only 30 minutes.

Australian iron ore miner Fortescue has received what is likely the largest electric vehicle battery in the world – a 1.4 megawatt-hour behemoth designed to power a 240-metric-ton mining haul truck it is developing in partnership with equipment manufacturer Liebherr.

This massive 15-metric-ton battery – measuring a whopping 11.8 feet (3.6 meters) long, 5.2 feet (1.6 meters) tall, and 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) wide – is made up of eight individually cooled sub-packs, each with its own battery management system.

What may be more impressive than its size is its fast-charging ability.

"Today marks the latest milestone in the rapid development of state-of-the-art zero-emission technology for Fortescue's mining trucks," said Craig Wilson, CEO of WAE Technologies, an engineering subsidiary of Fortescue that designed and built the battery. "This high-performance power system not only boasts the highest energy storage of its kind, but will also be the first to offer 30-min fast charging."

The more than two-story-tall Liebherr electric mining truck being built for Fortescue will have a regenerative breaking system that will also charge the battery while traveling downhill.

As part of its transition to a global green energy and resources company, Fortescue bought WAE in 2022.

"WAE and Fortescue are working together to seek to decarbonize faster and more effectively than any other major industrial company in the world," said Fortescue Future Industries CEO Mark Hutchinson. "The battery system, designed for our zero-emission battery electric mining haul trucks is an important part of our strategy to reach real zero terrestrial emissions (Scope 1 and 2) across our iron operations by 2030."

The massive battery is at Fortescue's workshop in Perth, Western Australia, and will be assembled and installed, before its transported to Pilbara for testing in the iron mines during 2023.

"This system is the first of many technologies that can help enable Fortescue to realize its industry leading 2030 net-zero target. Powered solely by renewable energy, it will help prevent enormous amounts of fossil fuel from being used in the mining industry, with the goal to not compromise the vehicle's load capacity," said Wilson. "This is an inspiring example of what can be achieved combining Fortescue's pioneering green energy vision for its global vehicles and WAE's extensive expertise in advanced batteries."

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News

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With more than 16 years of covering mining, Shane is renowned for his insights and and in-depth analysis of mining, mineral exploration and technology metals.


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