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Why Are The World’s Largest Electric Vehicles Dump Trucks?

Why Are The World’s Largest Electric Vehicles Dump Trucks?

The biggest change for industrial vehicles in the 2020s is a push towards sustainability, and this has created a surge of demand that has made electric dump trucks a major point of interest for firms looking to upgrade their fleet.

Beyond being big business however, electric vehicles have also started getting a lot bigger, especially in comparison to the types of EVs available just two decades ago such as the G-Wiz.

With Caterpillar and Hitachi both announcing huge electric mining dumpers that are amongst the largest electric vehicles ever made, it is worth looking back at the first example of such a large emissions-free dumper to see why it has become such an attraction.

The first electric dump truck of this scale and one credited as the largest EV ever made is the Elekto Dumper (also known as the eDumper), created by German manufacturer Kuhn Schweitz and based on the Komatsu HB605-7 large mining dumper.

The truck, initially used to carry lime and marlstone from a mountainside quarry in Switzerland, has the capacity to carry 60 tonnes and features a 600 kW/h battery pack which itself weighs several tonnes.

In a conventional electric vehicle being driven in a conventional way, this would lead to particularly lengthy charging demands, but due to the unique nature of the job it was assigned to, it has been claimed that it almost never needs charging.

The way that this works is that the mine itself is atop an incline, so on the way down to the unloading site, the truck relies heavily on its regenerative braking system, which recovers electrical energy and recharges the battery.

Once it is unloaded, the lighter truck theoretically uses less energy to travel up the hill than it generated travelling down it.

This is obviously not always the case for electric dump trucks, but the concept of saving considerable money on fuel and energy has made them a highly desirable prospect ever since.