Caterpillar, an American manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, has completed the successful demonstration of its first battery electric 793 large mining truck. The company has also announced a significant investment to transform its Arizona-based proving ground into a sustainable testing and validation hub of the future.
The demonstration for Caterpillar’s prototype battery-electric truck was recently conducted at the company’s Tucson Proving Ground, located in Green Valley, Arizona. Early learner customers came together to witness a live demonstration of the truck on a seven-kilometer (4.3-mile) course. During the event, Caterpillar monitored over 1,100 data channels, gathering 110,000 data points per second to validate simulation and engineering modeling capabilities.
Fully loaded to its rated capacity, the 793 large mining truck achieved a top speed of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) while it traveled one kilometer (0.62 miles) up a 10% grade at 12 km/h (7.5 mph). The truck also performed one kilometer (0.62 miles) run on a 10% downhill grade, capturing the energy that would normally be lost to heat and regenerating that energy to the battery. Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles, the press release said.
“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,” said Resource Industries Group President Denise Johnson.
Caterpillar is not limiting its efforts to the electrification of its fleet alone. In support of the energy transition, the company is investing in transforming the proving ground into a working, sustainable “mine site of the future” by installing and utilizing a variety of renewable energy sources. The objective is to implement the same sustainable solutions mining companies will use at their own operations to learn what it takes to run an electrified mine site and effectively support customers through the changes.
The company will install the latest advancements in sustainability technology, such as green hydrogen production, natural gas and 100% hydrogen reciprocating engine power generation, fuel cell power generation, and expanded energy storage systems. The site will also leverage a variety of renewable power sources, including wind, solar, and hydrogen, capable of powering the facility and its products as they become electrified.