Williams Advanced Engineering is partnering with Fortescue Metals Group to design, build, test and integrate a battery system to power a 240-tonne electric mining haul truck.
Williams was the original supplier of batteries to the entire grid of FIA Formula E World Championship cars in 2014, a relationship that is to be revived for 2022-23 season.
The haul truck project will involve the design and construction of a bespoke battery electric powertrain with the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill. The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK before being shipped to Perth, Australia for integration into a prototype haul truck for performance testing at Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
To support the full implementation of a battery-electric haulage fleet, the project will also involve the development of a fast-charging unit which will harness renewable energy from Fortescue’s network.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said, “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the planet and Fortescue is committed to tackling this challenge head on through our industry leading target to achieve net zero operational emissions by 2040.
“This includes a 26 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from existing operations from 2020 levels by 2030.” (Scope 1 covers direct emissions from activities, Scope 2 covers indirect emissions including generation of power).
“With around a quarter of these emissions attributed to our mobile haul fleet, this represents a significant opportunity to drive our pathway to being diesel free.”
“Fortescue’s history of developing and adopting innovation and technology has been key to the success of our business and in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, we look forward to applying this technology-first strategy to our emissions reduction pathway.”
Williams Advanced Engineering Managing Director Craig Wilson said, “We are delighted to be working with Fortescue on this pioneering project that will help enable their future decarbonisation strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector. Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.”