European companies roll out electric, hybrid mine car

Germany’s mechanical engineer Paus Hermann Maschinenfabrik has partnered with the Finnish arm of Danish Danfoss to develop an electric and hybrid mine vehicle that helps to reduce health risks to workers.

The diesel vehicle MinCa 5.1 is produced in Emsbüren in Germany and has been on the market for two years. But the electric and hybrid version was recently developed in collaboration with Danfoss Mobile Electrification.

Using the electric drive train system supplied by Danfoss, the emission-free vehicle can transport man or material with a carrying capacity of 1.2t underground.

The electric version of MinCa 5.1 uses a 50 kW electric motor and 50 kWh battery that can run up to four hours of mining.

Meanwhile, the hybrid version features a 50 kW electric motor, as well as a range extender and 20 kWh battery that can run up to 12 hours.

It is now going into series production and will be delivered to customers shortly as a hybrid or all-electric mining vehicle.

In Canada, for example, the use of diesel vehicles has been prohibited from greenfields mines. This is because inhalation of exhaust gases from diesel vehicles poses significant health risks for mine workers, causing lung and respiratory diseases.

Other benefits of electric vehicles include reduction in fuel costs by 50 per cent in Australia.

The abandonment of diesel vehicles also means improved air quality, which generates further savings on ventilation systems.

The electric and hybrid MinCa 5.1 is an addition to the proliferating trend of electric mining vehicles. Other early adopters are 40t electric underground haul truck Z40 by America’s Artisan Vehicles, and the diesel-powered Komatsu HD 605-7, which has been modified into an electric vehicle using a 4.5t and 700 kWh battery pack and boasting a carrying capacity of 65t.