Hitachi and ABB Together To Develop an Engineless, Full Battery Dump Truck

Hitachi Construction Machinery and ABB announce that they have signed a collaboration agreement to develop an engineless, full battery rigid frame dump truck (hereinafter, “full battery dump truck”) with a customized on-board energy storage system, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and offering a solution towards a net zero emission pathway.

Hitachi Construction Machinery’s EH4000AC-3 rigid dump truck model with trolley. Courtesy of Hitachi Construction Machinery

Utilizing ABB’s innovative battery technology, Hitachi Construction Machinery trucks can be transformed from diesel to full electric battery operation. The dump trucks will operate by utilizing a new onboard electrification system – drawing its energy requirements from an energy supply system with dynamic charging, allowing simultaneous charging of the on-board energy storage system while providing energy to power the truck. The system will provide extended battery longevity by reducing the load and discharge during each haul cycle, offering a cost efficient industry solution that allows continuous operation so as to maintain the high productivity and performance the industry has come to expect from Hitachi Construction Machinery products.

Both companies signed a memorandum of understanding in March 2021 to build a partnership aimed at realizing net zero emissions and this joint development is the first project where the two companies will apply their complementary skills to achieve this goal. ABB will develop the on-board energy storage systems by customizing an existing product and Hitachi Construction Machinery will lead the overall design and development of the dynamic charging battery dump truck utilizing the technology of its existing rigid dump truck with trolley as its base, effectively allowing the accelerated development of this solution.

Hitachi Construction Machinery and ABB understand there is a growing interest in the electrification of mining operations and machinery, as environmental awareness grows within the industry and community. Technology continues to be further developed in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while taking into consideration the demands of mining operations.

By utilizing Hitachi Construction Machinery’s dynamic charging battery dump truck systems and ABB’s battery technology, the joint collaboration will not only help tackle the challenge of solving the issues involved in dump truck electrification, but also provide a real world climate change solution.

Features of the dynamic charging battery dump truck being jointly developed

Controls the initial and lifecycle costs

By drawing the electrical power from the dynamic charging system required during operation will limit the volume of batteries on the trucks, providing a sustainable solution. In addition, the system aims to reduce the lifecycle costs by drawing electrical power from the overhead system while connected, simultaneously charging the battery in an appropriate manner to reduce the load and depth of discharge, maximizing battery life.

Reduces the vehicle weight and maximizes the load capacity

Limiting the battery volume lessens the weight of the battery solution on the vehicle, maximizing the battery dump truck’s payload capacity.

Dynamic charging solution to provide a higher rate of operation over static charging

The solution draws electrical power from the dynamic charging system during operation while simultaneously charging the battery, removing the need to stop the vehicle for recharging. Therefore, achieving a higher rate of continuous operation to maintain productivity at site.

Conceptual image of the dynamic charging battery dump truck in operation. Courtesy of Hitachi Construction Machinery

Edgar Keller, President of ABB’s Motion Traction Division, said:

“We are honored to collaborate with Hitachi Construction Machinery combining extensive industry expertise and innovative technologies to improve efficiency and accelerate the transition to all-electric mine operations. By co-creating solutions, we can help mine operators achieve their production and sustainability goals.”

Sonosuke Ishii, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer, President of Mining Group, said:

“ABB highly values our superiority with respect to electric ultra-large hydraulic excavators, AC drive dump trucks, and diesel engine rigid dump trucks with trolley. The strengths and knowledge of both companies will be utilized to realize the early development of dynamic charging battery dump trucks. In addition, ABB’s energy storage solutions can also be used for static charging dump trucks and the technology is ready for future fuel cell electric vehicles, the basic technologies required for net-zero emissions from mining machinery can also be established as part of the current development. Both companies will continue with the development while looking ahead to the future.”'
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