- First Mode, in partnership with Anglo American, has successfully developed the world’s largest zero-emission haul truck, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.
- The proof-of-concept truck finished its year of operational trials, achieving full payload capacity, high operational speeds, and zero safety incidents.
- First Mode is now focused on scaling and commercializing its nuGen™ Haulage Solution.
In quite a feat of engineering and innovation, First Mode, in collaboration with Anglo American, has unleashed the world’s largest zero-emission haul truck. This colossal mining truck has spent the past year proving to skeptics that electric mobility in heavy industry is not only possible but also necessary. The ambitious proof-of-concept vehicle, powered by a groundbreaking combination of hydrogen fuel cells and batteries, has demonstrated that hauling mammoth loads without fossil fuels is not only feasible but highly efficient and safe.
Unveiling the Future
In May 2022, the world was introduced to the nuGen™ Haulage Solution, as First Mode revealed the world’s first and largest hydrogen-fueled haul truck. This beast of burden surpassed all performance expectations.
Julian Soles, First Mode’s CEO, proudly shared the results of this zero-emission haul truck test. “The truck’s tremendous success is undisputed, having exceeded performance on all significant tests, including travel speed and payload. We are also extremely proud to report zero safety incidents or downtime associated with the program. Our proof-of-concept demonstrates not only the feasibility, but also the urgent need to scale our nuGen™ Haulage Solution to help the mining industry reduce its reliance on diesel.”
From Vision to Reality
This groundbreaking project was initiated in 2019 to explore ways to decarbonize Anglo American’s existing fleet of ultra-class haul trucks. The nuGen™ Haulage Solution, a comprehensive overhaul of the haulage ecosystem, replaces every diesel component with clean energy alternatives, from the power plant to the refueling system and fuel storage infrastructure.
The proof-of-concept truck, stationed at Anglo American’s Platinum Group Metals mine site in South Africa, is a testament to the technical viability of this transformative approach to mining.
Largest Zero-Emission Haul Truck Gallery
Throughout its year of operation, the zero-emission haul truck achieved several milestones that shook the mining industry. It logged an impressive 1,245 hours of emission-free operation, boasting a peak power output of a staggering two megawatts.
In addition, the truck joined the commercial fleet operations, handling ore and waste haulage activities alongside traditional diesel vehicles without missing a beat. It demonstrated performance parity with its diesel counterparts, managing a full payload of 300 tonnes (a stunning 300,000 kilos) on pit runs and conquering a 10% grade while fully loaded.
Paving the Way Forward
As the mining industry sets its sights on a greener future, First Mode is actively scaling and commercializing the nuGen™ Haulage Solution. The company is diligently developing next-generation power plants, refueling systems, and infrastructure at its engineering and development facilities in Seattle. A 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is slated to come online soon, underscoring First Mode’s commitment to driving the clean energy transition.
The promising advancements will soon be showcased on Komatsu 930E and 830E platforms at First Mode’s Proving Grounds, set to kick off in early 2024. This milestone will mark another chapter in the company’s mission to revolutionize heavy industry by eliminating the use of diesel and embracing cleaner alternatives.
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