Hitachi launches final tests of its electric dump truck

Hitachi Construction Machinery has completed the prototype of an all-electric dump truck. The construction machine has now been transferred by ship to Zambia, where it will complete a demonstration and final test programme at a copper-gold mine in mid-2024.

Image: HCM

The battery-electric dump truck is based on the conventionally powered Hitachi EH4000AC-3 model with a payload of 221 tonnes. In the converted version, the construction machine is equipped with battery technology and DC/DC converters from ABB. However, the development partners do not provide any precise details about the drive. All they say is that the dump truck can get by on its internal battery when operating on level ground. When travelling uphill, the power is drawn from an external trolley supply. When travelling downhill, the truck uses the energy recovered during regenerative braking to recharge the battery.

As no performance figures are yet available for the battery model, the data sheet for the combustion engine version provides a rough guide: the EH4000AC-3 has a rated engine output of 1,864 kW net and a maximum speed of 56 km/h. The payload is 221 tonnes, as mentioned above. The payload is the aforementioned 221 tonnes and the gross operating weight is 384 tonnes.

Hitachi and ABB launched the conversion project in 2021 with the aim of meeting the growing demand for electric dump trucks in the mining sector and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The electric models will later utilise a new electric on-board system that draws power from a chassis to directly drive the engine and charge a battery storage system.

“We are delighted to see our collaboration with Hitachi Construction Machinery reaching this crucial step,” says Fabiana Cavalcante, Head of Mobile e-Power at ABB Traction. The project not only helps to solve the problems associated with the electrification of dump trucks, but also contributes to a low-carbon world by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “We look forward to seeing the prototype prove its capability in the Zambian copper-gold mine.”


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