WAE Technologies delivers prototype battery system for Fortescue zero-emission battery-electric mining haul truck

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A battery with 1.4MWH of energy storage has been delivered to Perth in Australia by WAE Technologies for installation into a zero-emission battery-electric mining haul truck that Fortescue is developing with Liebherr.

Stated to be the largest battery of its kind, the 1.4MWh prototype power system is entirely bespoke and has been designed for integration into a 240-metric ton mining haul truck. The project is part of Fortescue’s US$6.2bn decarbonization strategy to help eliminate fossil fuels from its terrestrial iron ore operations, which includes replacing its fleet of diesel-fueled heavy-duty haul trucks with battery electric and green hydrogen powered alternatives.

The power system, which was developed by 50 engineers and technicians, weighs 15 metric tons and is 3.6m long, 1.6m wide and 2.4m high. The clean solution consists of eight sub-packs, each with 36 modules, which are all individually cooled and feature their own battery management system.

The battery can be fast charged in 30 minutes and power regeneration can be carried out when the vehicle moves downhill.

Fortescue Future Industries CEO Mark Hutchinson said, “WAE and Fortescue are working together to seek to decarbonize faster and more effectively than any other major industrial company in the world. The battery system, designed for our zero-emission battery electric mining haul trucks is an important part of our strategy to reach real zero terrestrial emissions (Scope 1 and 2) across our iron operations by 2030.”

The battery system will now be assembled and installed in the vehicle at Fortescue’s workshop in Perth, Western Australia, before being transported to the Pilbara for testing on site this year.

“Today marks the latest milestone in the rapid development of state-of-the-art zero-emission technology for Fortescue’s mining trucks,” commented Craig Wilson, CEO, WAE Technologies. “This high-performance power system not only boasts the highest energy storage of its kind but will also be the first to offer 30-min fast charging.”

Wilson continued, “This system is the first of many technologies that can help enable Fortescue to realize its industry-leading 2030 net-zero target. Powered solely by renewable energy, it will help prevent enormous amounts of fossil fuel from being used in the mining industry, with the goal to not compromise the vehicle’s load capacity. This is an inspiring example of what can be achieved combining Fortescue’s pioneering green energy vision for its global vehicles and WAE’s extensive expertise in advanced batteries.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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