Volvo to supply Boliden with electric trucks for underground mining
In partnership with Volvo Trucks, Swedish mining company Boliden has announced that it will begin using battery-electric trucks for heavy underground transport in 2023. This decision will make Boliden one of the first mining companies in the world to use electric trucks for mining operations
The mining industry is shifting toward more sustainable production methods to lower its carbon footprint. Using electric trucks in mining environments comes with several advantages, such as no exhaust emissions as well as safer and quieter working conditions in general.
Diesel vehicles are responsible for a significant portion of carbon dioxide emissions in the mining sector. Boliden aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and the adoption of electric vehicles will be crucial in achieving this target.
“In addition, the total amount of energy consumed in the mine will be lower as electric drive is more energy efficient than a diesel engine, and it is possible to capture the electricity regenerated during engine braking on downhill slopes,” Dennis Forslund, project manager at Boliden, said.
The collaboration will see two heavy electric Volvo trucks being used in Boliden’s Kankberg mine outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden. It is estimated that Boliden would reduce its emissions by 25 percent if it replaced all of its diesel trucks with their electrically powered counterparts.
Boliden’s Kankberg mine will soon introduce the first electric truck, a Volvo FH Electric, to transport equipment underground. Based on its performance, another Volvo FH Electric will be added to the mine at a later stage.
This is an exciting collaboration in an environment with very tough demands; steep slopes, heavy loads and humid air that wears on the vehicles.Jessica Lindholm, project manager at Volvo Trucks
With six electric truck models in series production, Volvo Trucks has emerged as the leading supplier of heavy electric trucks in Europe and the USA. The company also plans to make half its new truck sales electric by 2030.
The collaboration between Boliden and Volvo Trucks is expected to provide valuable knowledge about the performance of electric trucks in underground mining operations and contribute to a more sustainable mining industry.
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