Williams Advanced Engineering and Fortescue Metals Group have announced an agreement to design, build, test and integrate a battery system to power an electric mining haul truck.
The project will involve the design and construction of a bespoke battery electric powertrain with the ability to regenerate power as the truck travels downhill.
The battery will be built at WAE’s facility in Grove, Oxfordshire, UK before being shipped to Perth, Australia for integration into a 240-tonne prototype haul truck for performance testing at Fortescue’s mining operations in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
To support the full implementation of a battery-electric haulage fleet, the project will also involve the development of a fast charging unit which will harness renewable energy from Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect network.
For the project, WAE will be drawing on its high performance battery expertise, covering the Automotive, Motorsport, Marine, and Aerospace sectors.
The company was the original supplier of batteries to the entire grid of FIA Formula E World Championship cars in 2014, a relationship that has been revived for 2022-23 season.
Craig Wilson, managing director, Williams Advanced Engineering said, “We are delighted to be working with Fortescue on this pioneering project that will help enable their future decarbonisation strategy, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions in the heavy-duty mining sector.
“High performance battery systems are at the core of WAE. Both companies have a shared culture for innovation and rapid response and are committed to creating a sustainable future.’’
Elizabeth Gaines, Fortescue chief executive officer added, “Fortescue’s history of developing and adopting innovation and technology has been key to the success of our business and in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, we look forward to applying this technology-first strategy to our emissions reduction pathway.”