Fortescue: Hydrogen-Powered Haul Truck Breakthrough!

Fortescue Metals, the Australian mining giant, recently achieved a breakthrough by operating one of its giant haul trucks on hydrogen fuel cells for the first time. This advancement is part of Fortescue’s ambitious goal to eliminate diesel use by the end of the decade. The hydrogen-powered haul truck prototype, named “Europa,” features a combination of a 1.6MWh battery and 500 kilowatts of fuel cells, developed in collaboration with Liebherr. The truck has the capacity to store over 380 kilograms of liquid hydrogen.


Fortescue’s CEO, Dino Otranto, expressed excitement about this milestone, emphasizing the company’s progress towards having a fleet of zero-emissions trucks at their sites by 2030. The next steps include transporting Europa to mining operations for further testing and commissioning, with the aim of gathering valuable data to inform the development of future zero-emissions trucks in partnership with Liebherr.

Why does it matter?

Fortescue has already begun the transition to zero-emissions technology by converting its diesel electric trucks to cleaner alternatives. The company has also tested a 240 tonne electric haul truck prototype, known as the Road Runner, which has demonstrated efficiency in various rigorous tests. Furthermore, Fortescue is phasing out its diesel excavator fleet in favor of electric excavators, a move that is expected to eliminate the use of 95 million liters of diesel annually. The excavator is currently powered partly by solar energy from a nearby 60 MW solar farm, but Fortescue plans to shift to 100% renewable power as it expands its solar and battery storage infrastructure.

How is it going to shape the future?

By leveraging innovative technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles, Fortescue is setting a groundbreaking example in the mining industry. Their commitment to reducing emissions and embracing renewable energy sources reflects a shift towards sustainable practices that prioritize environmental preservation. As Fortescue continues to lead the way in adopting cleaner transport and machinery solutions, it paves the path for a future where mining operations can be conducted with minimal impact on the planet.

Giles Parkinson, founder and editor of The Driven, highlights Fortescue’s significant strides in sustainable mining practices and the transition towards zero-emissions vehicles. With a wealth of experience in journalism and a keen interest in renewable energy, Parkinson’s insights underscore the importance of initiatives like Fortescue’s hydrogen-powered haul truck prototype in driving positive change within the industry.