Developed by US-based company Artisan Vehicles and gold producer Kirkland Lakes Gold, the 40-tonne Z40 electric vehicle (EV) has been designed to help the North American mining industry cut emissions. It is also said to have the smallest footprint of any 40-tonne truck on the market.
Artisan Vehicles CEO Mike Kasaba said the lithium battery technology is set to change the mining industry “forever”.
“It’s clear that the mining industry is ready for the transformation that we are enabling,” Kasaba said.
Kirkland Lake Gold CEO Tony Makuch said the Z40 has also been designed to operate in spaces designed for much smaller trucks. “Being able to haul significantly more ore in each truckload means more production with a smaller truck fleet,” he added.
The release of the Z40 follows Artisan Vehicles’ A4 EV – a 1.8m long, four-tonne load, haul and dump (LHD) underground mining vehicle. The A4 is also powered by lithium batteries and has an ‘extremely power dense’ electric motor system. As well as reducing ventilation and cooling expenses for mining companies, the A4 is estimated to have 300 per cent more horsepower than an equivalent diesel LHD truck.
According to the company, the Z40 haul truck has almost twice the peak horsepower of a comparable diesel machine. It produces zero diesel emissions and generates only one-eighth the heat of its diesel equivalent.
It is equipped with four electric motors and comes with a battery swap system, allowing the operation time of the vehicle to be extended to a duration comparable to that of a diesel model. It is also said to reduce the number of trips made around a site.
According to an Artisan Vehicles statement, electrifying vehicles and equipment in the mining industry helps reduce the impact of making other EVs, because it cleans up the process of sourcing vital components such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and other metals.
“The Z40 will improve working conditions and create a healthier environment for everyone underground,” the statement read.
Quarry sought additional information from Artisan Vehicles about whether the haul truck could potentially be used in quarrying applications but a response had not been received at the time of publication.