Electric Fleets Outshine Diesel in Underground Mines


A groundbreaking study revealed that electric fleets in underground mines are not only more cost-effective but also cleaner than traditional diesel fleets. The study focused on the Cosmos Nickel Project in Western Australia and assessed the feasibility of transitioning the underground fleet to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Conducted by Perenti and ABB for IGO Ltd, the study examined the technical and economic aspects of replacing diesel vehicles with BEVs in an Australian underground mine.

Why does it matter?

The study found that the BEV fleet could match the productivity of the diesel fleet at Cosmos without prohibitive costs over the mine’s lifetime. In addition to cost savings, transitioning to an all-electric fleet would significantly reduce cooling and ventilation demands, offsetting the increased power required by electric vehicles. While managing an electric fleet may be more complex than a diesel one, strategic battery swapping stations and charging points can minimize downtime.

How is it going to shape the future?

With advancements in BEV technology and a shifting industry mindset, the transition to all-electric mines is becoming increasingly feasible. The study highlighted that electric mining solutions are becoming more competitive against diesel options. By utilizing battery swapping stations and charging points, underground mines can optimize productivity while reducing CO2 emissions and improving working conditions for employees. This shift towards electrification not only aligns with the industry’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions but also contributes to a safer and more sustainable mining environment.

Source: https://thedriven.io/2024/05/21/landmark-study-finds-electric-fleets-for-underground-mines-cheaper-and-cleaner-than-diesel/