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South Africa now has the world's largest electric vehicle, a massive mining truck

Brittany Chang , Business Insider US
 Feb 24, 2020, 05:52 AM
Anglo American's Komatsu mining dump truck. (Anglo American)

  • Anglo American, ENGIE, and Williams Advanced Engineering are working together to create the world's largest electric vehicle: a hydrogen-powered mining truck.
  • Anglo American claims the vehicle will be capable of performing just as well, if not better, than its diesel-powered counterparts.
  • The truck will begin testing in a platinum group metals mine in Mogalakwena, South Africa before being used in other locations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Anglo American, ENGIE, and Williams Advanced Engineering are working together to create the world's largest hydrogen-powered mining truck capable of performing just as well, if not better, than its diesel-powered counterparts.

Anglo American is in the process of modifying its fleet of mining trucks to make them hydrogen-powered. ENGIE will be supplying the hydrogen technology and Williams the battery system, while Anglo American is providing its own Komatsu trucks.

The first rounds of the hydrogen-powered truck production will begin this year, and testing will occur at the platinum group metals mine in Mogalakwena, South Africa before being used in other locations. Keep scrolling to see the environmentally-friendly mine truck:


Anglo American predicts the performance of the hydrogen-powered trucks will be "the same or better" than its diesel trucks.

Anglo American's Komatsu mining dump truck. (Anglo American)

The new hydrogen outfit will allow the mining truck to be less noisy and cheaper to maintain than its diesel versions. The dump truck will weigh 263 tonnes, according to Popular Mechanics, making it larger than the previous largest electric vehicle: the 41-tonne eDumper.

A lithium-ion battery will replace the diesel engine, allowing the FCEV haul truck to be powered by both a battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology, similar to the upcoming electric Nikola Badger pickup truck. It also gives the mining truck energy storage of up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours, allowing it to work in the same "harsh environments" as a diesel-powered haul truck, according to Williams.

The truck will also have regenerative braking, allowing the vehicle to conserve and recuperate energy while going downhill, according to Williams Advanced Engineering.


Technical director of Anglo American Tony O'Neill said in a statement that the hydrogen-powered mining truck is a part of the company's 2030 goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.

Anglo American's Komatsu mining dump truck. (Anglo American)

It also has the goal of being carbon-neutral.


Anglo American also purchased nine 100-kilowatt fuel cell modules from Ballard Power Systems, and eight of them will be used in the mining trucks during the South Africa tests.

Anglo American's Komatsu mining dump truck. (Anglo American)

Source: Ballard Power Systems


The new hydrogen project is a part of the Anglo American's "FutureSmart Mining" project which aims to make mining more tech, digital, and sustainability-forward by changing its process of sourcing, mining, and selling its products.

Anglo American hopes to do this by reducing its waste and use of resources like water, while increasing the safety and data-forward planning.

This article has been updated to reflect the weight of the vehicle in metric tonnes, rather than US-style tons.

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