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9/26/22

Innovation

Charging the mining industry into an electric future

​The future of electric mine haul trucks is one step closer to reality with global mining giants and manufacturers collaborating on interoperability standards to decarbonise haul truck fleets.

Mining giants BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale are establishing a Mining Taskforce within CharIN, supported by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).

 With the interoperability framework now developed through a co-design process led by professional service company GHD, the new task force is an exciting opportunity for the mining industry to lead, solving interoperability barriers and working towards standardisation.

This task force builds on the success the Charge On Innovation Challenge, with founding patrons, manufacturers and GHD maintaining momentum to establish the interoperability of haul truck electrification solutions.

“For us to be able to drive this forward, we need to be able to engage with all of the mining industry, from mining companies to OEMs and technology suppliers, to advance and enhance the existing standard,” shared Peter Wan, Co-Chair of ICMM's Initiative for Cleaner Safer Vehicles Greenhouse Gas working group and Manager, Mobile Fleet Decarbonisation, Teck Resources, one of the mining companies active in both the ChargeOn Innovation Challenge and the ICMM ICSV program.

Two men and a woman side by side with their hands crossed in front of their bodies.
 

Driven to decarbonise, mining companies and manufacturers have voiced their top needs and objectives for an interoperable future.

 “By driving interoperability standards, we will reduce the potential for unnecessary duplication in charging infrastructure and the total cost of ownership, along with safety considerations,” shared Santi Pal, Managing Director Group Technical, Rio Tinto.

“Developing interoperability standards is critical to continuous innovation that will enable increased efficiency, reduce costs, improve safety and promote the quality use of the electric haul trucks,” said Iain Curran, Practice Lead, Global Fleet Decarbonisation, BHP. “The standards are in line with some of the main challenges that drive BHP as a company – innovation and development of capabilities for the future of mining that will make a meaningful contribution towards the mining industry in meeting its decarbonisation goals.”

“CharIN fully supports the task force mining as it is absolutely aligned with our activities promoting CCS (Combined Charging System) and MCS (Megawatt Charging System) as the global charging standards for all kinds of vehicles,”stated ClaasBracklo, Chairman of CharIN e.V. “Interoperability is the key to success, this has been proven during the last years on passenger car, truck, and bus level. Our alliance is happy to offer the umbrella, where market players convene for dialogue and exchange to prepare the requirements for common standards. A great example of CharIN´s global scope on charging, including marine, aviation and now mining.”

Electrifying haul trucks with interoperable solutions will require sustained industry-wide collaboration, however the benefits of reducing the number of charging standards is compelling.

“One of the important tenets within fleet electrification is interoperability: where all products and services connect with each other seamlessly, not unlike Lego bricks,” shared Vinay Poojary, Business Innovation Leader, Vale. “This concept brings various entities together in building a sustainable and bright future for the mining industry. The results will help us accelerate towards our net-zero carbon goals and transform the future in a sustainable manner, together.” 

“Over the last three months we've consulted with over 60 industry leaders from 30 organisations to develop definitions of scope, and priority areas of focus,” Emma Jones, Innovation Manager, GHD Digital. “It was reassuring to find that there is general alignment across the industry on areas of priority, and unanimous support for the establishment of this task force - demonstrating a willingness to collaborate in order to accelerate the standardisation and industry adoption of electric haul truck solutions.”

Four men stand side by side. They wear formal clothes and are standing in front of a stage, and behind them is an electronic sign that reads: “Energy and mines. Australia Summit”.
 

Looking ahead, a core group of organisations are currently joining CharIN, with BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale already accepted as members, and have set an ambitious target to have the taskforce fully established for an early 2023 start. Together, this network of organisations is set to influence the long-term transformation of technologies, operations and assets used in mine sites.

 Through unified, industry-wide collaboration, this task force aims to help move the industry towards interoperable solutions and a sustainable, low-carbon economy. 

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