U.S. American Artisan Vehicles has discovered the utility vehicle market and developed a 40-ton electric truck. Its use case is specific as the Z40 is an underground haul truck used by mining companies all over the world.
Artisan Vehicles’ Z40 boast four electric motors. Rather than charging, the idea is to swap the battery and the company says this would make the electric trucks range comparable to that of a diesel truck. Also, Artisan has redesigned the hauler and made it smaller and says the electric power gives it more torque.
The company with bases in California and Ontario is new to the mining industry. However, Mike Kasaba, Artisan’s CEO said in a statement: “We are astonished and thankful for the reception we have received both locally and throughout the mining industry. It’s clear that the mining industry is ready for the transformation that we are enabling.”
Artisan’s Z40 has already found a first customer at the Kirkland Lake Gold mine. Artisan also wants to establish a customer service and information centre for miners.
Indeed, there have been some electric vehicles targeted at mining such as those from Canada’s Medatech or the Swiss Komatsu rework. Working underground, both the heat as well as poisonous exhausts generated by fossil-fuel powered models add to the health hazards of an already dangerous industry.
Furthermore, the car, or better battery industry is turning to miners as they look to strike deals for increasingly rare materials. Chile’s Corfo recently rearranged the country’s lithium resources anew when accepting and rejecting bids from Chinese and Korean companies for example. Also Toyota renewed its deal with Australian miner Orocobre early this year.
While those deals over materials to build electric car components do not include sustainable extraction techniques, this might as well become a topic of debate in the future.