The Volvo Group’s construction equipment subsidiary is working on electrifying several vehicles in its lineup, especially for mining equipment.

Now they have deployed several new electric mining vehicle prototypes for the world’s first emission-free quarry test.

During a 10-week test at Skanska’s Vikan Kross quarry, near Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo is replacing the polluting vehicles working the mine with a bunch of prototypes including:

  • eight smaller prototype HX2 autonomous, battery-electric load carriers
  • the 70t dual-powered, cable-connected EX1 excavator prototype
  • the LX1, Volvo CE’s prototype electric hybrid wheel loader

Here are a few images of those prototypes electric vehicles:

Melker Jernberg, president of Volvo CE, commented on the new project unveiled this week:

“We have had to completely rethink the way we work and how we look upon machine efficiency – pushing the boundaries of our competence. The total site solution we developed together with our customer Skanska is not a commercial solution for sale today and we will evaluate the outcome of the tests but we have learnt so much already, elements of which will be fed into our future product development,”

They will now run the new prototype equipment for the next 10 with the goal to perform the same workload but with “up to 95% lower carbon emissions and up to 25% lower total cost of operations.”

Electrek’s Take

That’s an exciting project that works on different levels.

It’s important to reduce pollution from mining and construction operations in general, but it’s also interesting that electric vehicles will require a significant increase in the production of certain minerals and now electric vehicles are in turn enabling a cost reduction in the mining of those minerals.

We have seen several other efforts to electrify mining operations.

Last year, we reported on a dumper truck that became the world’s largest electric vehicle with a massive 700 kWh battery pack.

More recently, Artisan Vehicles unveiled a new all-electric 40-tonne truck for the mining industry.

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