Cat’s first battery-powered big mining truck

Prototype rolled-out for Caterpillar’s Early Learner partners at its Arizona proving ground.
Caterpillar first electric large mining truck
Caterpillar’s Early Learner customers came together at the company’s Arizona proving ground to witness a live demonstration of its prototype battery truck on a 4.3-mile course.

Caterpillar Inc. recently demonstrated what it called its “first battery electric 793 large mining truck” to a group of its Early Learner partners.

“Our global team came together to develop this battery truck at an accelerated pace to help our customers meet their sustainability commitments,” said Denise Johnson, resource industries group president at Caterpillar.

The Early Learner program, launched in 2021, focuses on accelerating the development and validation of Caterpillar’s battery electric trucks at participating customers’ sites, said the company.

Participants of the Early Learner program with definitive electrification agreements include BHP, Freeport-McMoRan, Newmont Corporation, Rio Tinto and Teck Resources Limited, said the firm.

During the event, Caterpillar said it 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 truck achieved a top speed of 37 mph. The loaded truck traveled sixth tenths of a mile up a 10% grade at about 8 mph.

The truck also performed a one kilometer, or sixth tenths of a mile, run on a 10% downhill grade, capturing the energy that would normally be lost to heat and regenerating that energy to the battery, said the firm.

Upon completing the entire run, the truck maintained enough battery energy to perform additional complete cycles. 

“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 Johnson.

The prototype truck was built at Caterpillar’s Tucson proving ground. In support of the energy transition, Caterpillar said it is investing to transform the location into a working, sustainable “mine site of the future” by installing a variety of renewable energy sources.

The company said it will expand energy storage systems and 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.

“We know it will take an integrated, site-level solution for miners to achieve their carbon-reduction goals, and we’re here to help as they redefine the way they mine for generations to come,” said Johnson.

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