The world’s largest manufacturer of mining and construction equipment, Caterpillar (CAT), is setting the standard for sustainable mining development. The first battery-electric 793 heavy mining tractor from Caterpillar underwent a successful test.
On November 23, Caterpillar displayed the capabilities of its massive 793 electric mining truck and pledged a “major investment” to transform its Tuscan, Arizona, proving grounds into a sustainable testing and demonstration centre for future electric technologies.
According to Caterpillar, important mining clients like BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont, and Rio Tinto, who participate in its Early Learners Program, made the demonstration possible.
“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,” explained group president of Caterpillar, Denise Johnson, the significance of its new large electric mining truck for customers.
Caterpillar launched the program in 2021 to advance the development of battery electric vehicles for sustainable mining operations while allowing mining customers to test them.
During the demonstration, Caterpillar’s giant 793 electric mining truck smashed through a 4.3-mile (7-kilometre) circuit. Then, with its rated capacity fully loaded, the EV truck reached a top speed of 37.3 mph (60 km/h) and went 0.62 miles (1 km) at 7.5 mph, up a 10% incline.
Furthermore, the massive Caterpillar EV mining vehicle performed a 0.62-mile (1-kilometre) test on a 10% downhill grade. Perhaps most critically, the e-mining vehicle recovered energy that would otherwise be lost to heat and channelled back to the battery.
Caterpillar stated that the 793 truck had enough energy after the demonstration to undertake other jobs if necessary.
Caterpillar claims it is attempting to convert its Tucson, Arizona, proving ground into a practical “sustainable mine site of the future” by leveraging various renewable energy sources.
“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,” Johnson added.
According to Caterpillar, it will power its facilities and products using sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydrogen as it incorporates comprehensive battery electric technology into its machinery.