Teck to pilot electric on-highway truck in B.C. mining operation
Teck Resources Limited and MEDATech are piloting a fully electric on-highway transport truck will travel between Teck's Highland Valley copper operations (HVC) in south-central British Columbia and a rail loading facility in Ashcroft, B.C.
This pilot of the MEDATech ALTDRIVE-powered fifth-wheel Western Star truck will help to advance Teck's goal of displacing the equivalent of 1,000 internal combustion (ICE) vehicles by 2025. It will also provide valuable learnings for the electrification of Teck's vehicle fleet on the path to achieving the company's goal of reducing the carbon intensity of its operations by 33 percent by 2030 and becoming a carbon-neutral operator by 2050.
"Testing and implementing new electric vehicle technologies is one way we are taking concrete steps towards achieving our goal of being carbon neutral across our operations," said Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck. "Teck is already one of the world's lowest carbon-intensity producers of copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal, which are key materials to enable the low-carbon transition, and we are committed to further reducing the carbon intensity of our operations to support a cleaner future."
The pilot is expected to begin in summer 2022 and is projected to eliminate 418 tonnes of CO2 annually–the equivalent of approximately 90 passenger cars –for the first pilot vehicle, while also reducing costs through fuel savings and reduced maintenance.
"The fully-electric ALTDRIVE system is designed for this haul cycle at HVC requiring a vehicle that weighs 65,000kg loaded, 25,000kg unloaded, and completes the same four to five 95-kilometre roundtrips every workday," says Robert Rennie, President of MEDATech. "Since the truck batteries will charge on the downhill haul through regenerative braking, the rig will require only a short battery recharge at the Ashcroft, B.C. rail terminal so the haul cycle time is expected to be the same as a conventional truck."
The battery-electric drive system is expected to work more efficiently than a comparable diesel engine, outputting a constant 620kW (approximately 830 horsepower) and is configured to continuously output almost double the amount of torque.
This pilot project builds on Teck's GHG reduction initiatives, including the agreement to work towards deploying 30 of Caterpillar's zero-emissions large haul trucks at its steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley.
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