Swiss division of machinery manufacturer Kuhn wants to electrify the mining truck segment. He refitted a diesel truck to run on electricity and made this engine work in a quarry located on the outskirts of Biel, Switzerland. The dumper is called eDumper, and it is the largest electric car in the world.
EDumper began life as the Komatsu HD 605-7, powered by a giant six-row turbodiesel engine with a displacement of 23.1 liters. It has a length of 9.14 meters, a width of 4.28 meters and a height of 4.28 meters. Kuhn Schweitz removed the six-cylinder engine and replaced it with motors that consume electricity from a 60,000 kW lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 9,000 pounds. In comparison, the largest battery offered on the Tesla Model X has a capacity of 100 kWh.
The package works with regenerative braking technology to give the eDumper an unlimited range of motion. The researchers did not make a breakthrough in the field of battery technology, they simply used basic physics. The 45-ton eDumper raises a 13 percent slope to collect 65 tons of lime and marl, which must be delivered to a nearby cement plant. It is so heavy that when it moves backward, its regenerative braking system generates most or all of the energy used to climb the mountain.
Foreign journalists recently put the Formula E pilot Luca de Grassi on the first floor of the eDumper cockpit. The dump truck left with a charge of 90%, climbed to the top with the remaining 80% and reached 88% after descending from the hill. Of course, each ride is a little different, but Kuhn explained that eDumper usually produces more power than it consumes. Using batteries as an energy source saves about 50,000 tons of diesel per year.
Kuhn eMining takes orders for eDumper. The standard model with a diesel engine is estimated at a six-figure sum (in dollars), but the company has not yet set the price of the electric version.