Busting the Lies About Big Trucks and Electric Cars
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MYTHBUSTING

Busting the Lies About Big Trucks

edumper

Have you seen the one about the big trucks that burn 1800 gallons of diesel to make just 1 electric car? Yeah – that one’s a lie.

“This is a CAT994H,” the hysteria-fueled post reads. “It burns 1800 gallons of fuel in a 12 hour shift. This machine is required to move 500,000 lbs. of earth in order to get the minerals needed for ONE SINGLE Tesla car battery. In whose world does this type of math and green new deal make sense?”

And, look– if you think we’re making that all up and there is no one out there who could possibly be dense enough to believe anything like that’s actually what’s happening …

 
 

… there it is.

Look, we all know there are powerful forces in the world who are against electrification. Electrification threatens their business or their income, and they’ve found a way to use social media to influence people who are looking not necessarily for facts, but for fuel to feed the fires of whatever it is they believe. And, in fairness, that’s happening on every side of just about every issue.

What’s more, that post up there has already been debunked by an entire cottage industry of fact-checkers who will point out that the diesel calculations for the big mining trucks is wrong, the amount of dirt moved is wrong, and speak to the fact that those minerals, once pulled from the ground to be used in batteries, can be indefinitely recycled, meaning that initial carbon expense is only paid once, whereas a fossil fuel has a carbon cost to get from the ground, a carbon cost to refine, a carbon cost to transport, and a carbon cost to burn … and, of course, once it’s burned, you can’t reuse it. You have to go get more. Others have done all of that, admirably– but we’re going to do something different.

We’re going to assume that every single word of that nonsensical tweet/gram/tok is 100% correct, and show you that there’s a way to do the same amount of work that the big CAT994H can do with big trucks that are electric.

And, not just big trucks that are electric … but big trucks that never need charging. Ready to learn more? Read on.

 

Meet the eDumper

Image courtesy Lithium Systems, via CleanTechnica.
 

The truck you see here is called the eDumper. Developed by eMining AG and first put into service in 2019, it’s one of the largest electric vehicles on Earth.

The eDumper weighs over 120 tons (240,000 lbs.), and has a 65 ton payload capacity— equal to more than 130 “half ton” F-150 Lightning pickups or RAM 1500s. It’s really, really big, in other words, and it uses some clever technology to ensure that it uses zero (0) grid-sourced energy.

How? The eDumper harnesses the power of gravity to roll down from the top of the mine with a full load of material, with the operator riding the brakes the whole way down. The “brakes” are actually electric motors with extremely high resistance, and spinning against that load recharges the big trucks’ batteries. Once it’s at the bottom and unloaded, the 65 ton lighter eDumper uses the electricity it gained on the trip down to power its way back up to the top of the mine.

If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it is. We covered an Infinity Train developed by Fortescue a few weeks ago that uses the same principle to avoid the need for “plug” charging indefinitely.

For those of you keeping score, that’s well over 500,000 lbs. of earth moved– and zero gallons of diesel burned in the process. Gotta love that!

What do you guys think? Has that initial post been busted to your satisfaction? What about some of the other “compelling” posts out there? Scroll on down to the comments and leave links to your favorite anti-EV lies and we’ll bust ’em all!

 

SOURCE | IMAGES: LITHIUM SYSTEMS.

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AUTHOR: 

JO BORRAS (EIC)

48 Responses

  1. Those electric motors do NOT have “extremely high resistance”. If they did, they couldn’t do this job at all; if resistance reduced to a usable value, they’d fry themselves! Resistance is ALWAYS lossy, turning electric current into heat. they actually MUST have extremely LOW resistance, to maximise their efficiency both as generators and as motors. Likewise, the battery MUST have extremely low internal resistance, both to accept and deliver power and to not fry itself.

      1. I have not seen a mine yet where they cart downhill usually the point of digging a hole in the ground is to get to the product that is being mined so empty going down loaded going back up !!

          1. Yes, Ok Tedi is the only mine I’ve worked at where much ore is carted down to in pit crushers.

            But that said, I’m still all for electrification. I’d rather support our coal mines that oil sheiks

        1. I worked in a mine where they started at the top of a mountain and the proocessing operation was in the valley. It was all down hill hauling. You need more experience, Grasshopper.

        1. Yes, it did go out years ago– but you understood the analogy perfectly. Thanks for playing!

      2. No, no, that is for heaters, not for fans. It is a long time ago that electric power variations are not set with resistance (transformation to heat) anymore.

      3. Only very small fans are speed controlled by resistance modulation. Anything more than half a horse power has speed control by frequency modulation.

      4. Resistance cause heat which is a loss of energy !!! The higher the resistance the more power is lost.!
        Electric vehicles has very heavy batteries that it carries along what is the cost of carrying this load? You get nothing for nothing ! Electric vehicles will only be an option when batteries are cheap,, lighter and electricity much cheaper..

        1. You do realize that the exclamation points make you sound Super credible, right?

    1. I guess they actually mean mechanical resistance to movement rather than electrical resistance. It’s a rather poor description of regenerative braking, with sloppy use of language. But then when did internet memes on either side of any fence care about precision in the use of language?

    2. The heavy load going down is what makes the article correct. You are a denier, without the facts.

  2. There is no way that the truck generators can recover all of the energy required for the climb.
    This perpetual motion which is a physical impossibility.
    I have worked with these trucks. They have diesel motors with drive generators. They have pantographs which recover electrical energy from generators on the truck and transmit it to a grid. This recovered power is used to assist the diesel engine when the truck is climbing.
    It is you who.are spreading FAKE news.

    1. It’s heavier on the way down. Not perpetual motion, just a higher IQ. Don’t get #triggered when you don’t understand something. We’re all here to help explain it to you.

      1. Hmmmm…..how can it be heavier on the way down as it gets loaded at the bottom to take the ore up out of the mine?

          1. Have you ever been to a mine site? I have been to hundreds around the planet and there are perhaps 2 or 3 that load high and dump low. And that is usually only for the first few years of operation until the hole gets deep and load low – dump high prevails. I am all for electric vehicles but you should also quit spewing out stuff you know little about.

      2. How can it be heavier on the way down? It’s a quarry – pulling material out so heavier on the way up.
        Laws of conservation of energy dictate this cycle cannot be self perpetuating so energy collected by regenerative braking cannot equal to energy expelled to remove mass from the quarry. It defies the laws of physics.

      3. We have an electric dumper working a quarry near-by. Runs heavy downhill, but only gets 4.5 hours work before needing charged. Cost the owners a fortune and could be called an unqualified disaster as, economically, it doesn’t add up

        1. Use cases vary. If your daily commute is 80 miles, a Mazda MX-30 is an unqualified disaster. If it’s 8? Hardly a better EV out there. Wait until you try to get a woodscrew into a plank with a hammer– you’ll start to think hammers are a bad investment!

    2. There is such a truck operating on recovered energy here in Dunedin NZ I passed it today in my Leaf! The quarry it services is above the concrete plant it delivers to. No deisel!

  3. Why would you take the spoil to the bottom of the mine? Surely you need to take it out of the mine.
    I’m not saying this dumper doesn’t exist but surely, as you mine, you create a hole that you have to climb out of, extract the minerals out of?

  4. A Cat 994 is not a truck it is a loader. Loaders start with 9.All Cat dump trucks start with 7. The 793F dump truck is very common 2000kw and carts 256 tonne of rock. The 65 tonne quoted is inefficient. I was part of a team that took 2.4 million litres of diesel a day to FMG rail head. That was for ONE mine site. The other thing about remote minesites is there is no power supply. There are banks of large dump truck size engines generating power. 18-20 of them is not unusual. What is the point of a EV dump truck unless it’s cheaper. Still have to generate the power to charge it. A hybrid could use the motors to generate power on the EMPTY trip back DOWN the PIT. I doubt if the extra cost or weight would make it worthwhile, or every minesite would have already been doing it. This article is just another example of city people with no idea how the real world works. They have never been there and seen for themselves. Unless you are demolishing a hill then all mines are holes in the ground and you are dragging the load UPHILL.

    1. As mentioned in the article, there are plenty of reasons to laugh at the clowns spreading that image.

  5. E,dumper rolling ‘down hill’ with a full load. In nearly thirty years I was in only one Quarry that was uphill to the crushing plant. The rest were all downhill from the crushing plant. Meaning the dumper came up hill with a full load, max power requirement!

    1. Surely your experience trumps the reality of the eDumper being in service for over 2 years, then.

      1. These guys are raising some valid points EIC, which seem to be going straight over your head. Any rational person can see there are huge holes in this story

        1. Absolutely wrong. They’re raising valid points about the technology not being applicable to the applications they’re familiar with, and rather than look into the specifics of this application they’re saying, “That won’t work at my mine(s)!” and they’re doing so loudly enough that it seems like a compelling argument. It ain’t. In the same way that an angle grinder makes a terrible toothbrush, this tech won’t work for every application– that doesn’t invalidate it, and that doesn’t mean it’s not going to eventually be developed into something that will work for a lot more applications.

          Zero holes in the story, lots of holes in the heads of engineers who have never figured out the difference between “some” and “all”.

          1. It is invalid for almost all practical applications for minerals actually used in building EV’s. Lots of operators playing with EV haulers in underground mining, but so far no real success.

  6. The etruck will only work on a mountain not a mine. You drag your load uphill to get out of the mine and to the processing plant or the waste dump. A pathetically small dump truck like the Cat 773 pictured is only a Tonka Toy. Cat and Komatsu use hydraulic drives Why would you use them to convert? There are other trucks that use electric drive, just need to add the storage batteries as they already use dynamic braking like trains do.The Cat793F is the standard with 2000kw and 256 tonne payload.The ore body is a small portion of the material shifted. Less than 6% of the ore is LiO2 which is concentrated to Spodumene, then shipped to a refinery.Google can show you the rest. It takes 15 years to go from prospecting to production.as long as you can get investors and banks funding..

    The Infinity train has not even been designed yet, let alone in production. They are testing alternative fuels
    .https://www.fmgl.com.au/in-the-news/media-releases/2021/12/09/fortescue-ramps-up-decarbonisation-of-locomotive-fleet

    1. I love how confidently you’re willing to claim that a vehicle that’s been in steady service for over 2 years won’t work. LOL!!!

    2. These people at EIC have their blinkers on again, and refuse to see the practical applications.
      the real test is if these trucks are still operational in 5 years time,
      or if the mine owners have found that the economics don’t stack up

      1. The trucks has been in operation for two years, and they’ve ordered more (supposedly). So … seems fine?

  7. Why must you be so condescending and sarcastic to people asking questions or challenging your theories. I’m disgusted at your childish remarks and from now won’t take anything from this page seriously.

  8. Looking at basicall ALL open pit mines I have seen here in Sweden, all are basicall huge holes in the ground with the processing plant on top level. Swedens largest iron ore mine of LKAB in Kiruna is an underground mine. All material needs to be transported uphills, in case of the Kiruna mine from around 1500m depht. Swedens bigges open pit mine, the Aitik copper mine is a huge 450m deep hole, were trucks also need to get all material uphills. There the owner has sucessfully been running the dumpers partially on electricty supplied by an overhead wire, just like trains. This project was so sucessfull in saving energy cost that it will be expanded.
    However in both cases the material transport is far from enenergy and CO2 neutral!

  9. This article is sad because the e-dumper is probably a good truck and an encouraging development in the electric vehicle industry, but the author blows his credibility by making unrealistic claims. Perhaps in one or two cases, while the mine is still above ground you can keep running on energy from regenerative breaking. But these are rare cases. The real story is probably pretty good. Why not just tell rather than pushing hype that only makes you look dishonest?

    1. If you can’t tell the difference between “Look! This thing works!” and “This thing will work in all cases, for all circumstances, under all conditions, for everyone, everywhere, ever.” then I’m not really concerned about whether or not you think I’m being honest.

  10. Bring that piece of shit e dumper to Nunavut and see how long it last, I bet it can’t even do a full shift and will be on the next barge season back to the south

  11. When I was an apprentice, we got told to use Skyhooks for lifting heavy objects. I wonder if they are still about?
    There’s just one question, in life, there are no free lunches, reading through this thread it would seem you have found some?

  12. Every open pit mine I have seen goes the other way, the hole is dug and the trucks pull up out of it and return empty down into it!

    1. The this wouldn’t work there. Also: bicycles are bad for crossing the Atlantic.

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