Teck Resources Limited and MEDATech recently declared the pilot of a completely electric on-highway transport truck to haul copper concentrate. This marks the first use of a battery-electric truck to haul copper concentrate throughout the world.
The truck will be traveling between Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Operations (HVC) in south-central British Columbia (B.C.) and a rail loading facility in Ashcroft, B.C.
This pilot of the MEDATech ALTDRIVE-powered fifth-wheel Western Star will aid to progress Teck’s aim of displacing the equivalent of 1,000 internal combustion (ICE) vehicles by 2025. Also, it will offer valuable information for the electrification of Teck’s vehicle fleet on the path to decrease the carbon intensity of Teck's operations by 33% by 2030 and transform into a carbon-neutral operator by 2050.
Testing and implementing new electric vehicle technologies is one way we are taking concrete steps towards achieving our goal of being carbon neutral across our operations. Teck is already one of the world’s lowest carbon-intensity producers of copper, zinc, and steelmaking coal, which are key materials to enable the low-carbon transition, and we are committed to further reducing the carbon intensity of our operations to support a cleaner future.
Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck Resources Limited
The pilot is anticipated to begin in summer 2022 and is projected to remove 418 tons of CO2 per year — the equivalent of roughly 90 passenger cars — for the first pilot vehicle, while also decreasing costs via fuel savings and decreased maintenance.
The fully-electric ALTDRIVE system is designed for this haul cycle at HVC requiring a vehicle that weighs 65,000 kg loaded, 25,000 kg unloaded, and completes the same four to five 95-km roundtrips every workday.
Robert Rennie, President, MEDATech
Rennie added, “Since the truck batteries will charge on the downhill haul through regenerative braking, the rig will require only a short battery recharge at the Ashcroft, B.C. rail terminal so the haul cycle time is expected to be the same as a conventional truck.”
The battery-electric drive system is anticipated to function more efficiently compared to a comparable diesel engine, outputs a constant 620 kW (nearly 830 horsepower), and is configured to constantly output nearly double the amount of torque.
This pilot project is based on Teck’s GHG reduction initiatives, such as the recently declared agreement to work towards deploying 30 of Caterpillar’s zero-emissions large haul trucks at its steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley.