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First images of massive EV trucks set to revolutionize Australian mines – and they make Elon Musk’s Tesla Cybertruck look tiny


Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto are set to launch giant battery-powered electric cars whose heavy-duty trucks are much larger than a Tesla-developed pick-up truck.

Multibillion-dollar corporations are taking another step towards revolutionizing Australia’s mining sector, with the companies set to trial two battery-electric trucks at mining sites in Western Australia’s mining-rich Pilbara region.

The first images of the large earthmoving machines have been released after BHP and Rio Tinto teamed up with renowned manufacturers Caterpillar ( CAT ) and Komatsu to test and develop off-road trucks.

Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP are set to launch battery electric tractors (pictured), with the companies towing the vehicles in Western Australia’s mining-rich Pilbara region.

Two CAT 793 trucks will be tested in the second half of 2024, while two Komatsu 930 trucks will be tested in 2026 with both manufacturers to provide one truck each to BHP and Rio Tinto.

The massive trucks are huge compared to the Cybertruck that Tesla launched last December as mineral companies continue their march towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the battery-powered, stainless-steel-clad truck is a more practical alternative for motorists, as the pick-up has a towing capacity of nearly 5,000kg.

But in comparison, the CAT 793 hauls a whopping 240 tonnes – with the EV giant carrying a maximum rated load of 60km/h.

Further independent tests of large trucks will measure how the battery-powered vehicles will perform at mining sites and how they will charge using charging systems.

Geraldine Slattery, president of BHP Australia, said the testing and development of these trucks will help Australia’s mining industry to power battery-powered vehicles.

Construction machinery manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu team up with mineral companies to test trucks (Komatsu 930 mining truck pictured)

Construction machinery manufacturers Caterpillar and Komatsu team up with mineral companies to test trucks (Komatsu 930 mining truck pictured)

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The Cybertruck (pictured), which Tesla launched last year, pales in comparison to heavy trucks, with Elon Musk calling the vehicle a more practical alternative to traditional pickup trucks.

The Cybertruck (pictured), which Tesla launched last year, pales in comparison to heavy trucks, with Elon Musk calling the vehicle a more practical alternative to traditional pickup trucks.

“Operational decarbonisation relies on breakthroughs in technology and partnerships like this will help drive our industry forward,” she said.

«Replacing diesel as a fuel source requires us to develop an entirely new operational ecosystem surrounding the fleet.»

Ms Slattery said a fleet of battery-powered trucks would reduce reliance on diesel-powered vehicles.

«We’ve already seen leaps and bounds in operational range 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning part of our supply to renewable electricity, and we’re looking to build on that progress through the development of battery electric technology,» she said. .

Simon Trott, chief executive of Iron Ore at Rio Tinto, said the tests would help lead the mining industry and other companies to go fully electric.

Multibillion-dollar companies continue to accelerate their transition to renewable technologies as corporations seek to reduce their reliance on diesel-powered vehicles (pictured)

Multi-billion dollar companies continue to accelerate their transition to renewable technology as corporations seek to reduce their reliance on diesel vehicles (pictured)

«This collaboration brings together two of the world’s leading miners with two of the world’s largest truck manufacturers to work on the critical issue of zero-emission transportation,» he said.

«Testing two types of battery electric trucks in Pilbara conditions will provide better data and by joining our efforts with BHP we will accelerate learning.»

Both manufacturers will use the trial to help them design more trucks to enable the mining giants to power a fleet of heavy-duty trucks that will be powered entirely by electricity and batteries.

The trial comes after BHP last year signed a deal with Japanese carmaker Toyota to help develop the first all-electric versions of their legendary Landcruisers and HiLux utes and 4WDs.

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The company reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent in 2021, but carbon emissions from diesel combustion accounted for 40 percent of BHP’s direct and indirect emissions in 2020.



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