Shell Builds a Winning Consortium to Accelerate the Electrification of Off-road Mining Vehicles

Today, Shell announced the establishment of its nine-member consortium to create a new pilot offering of electrification solutions for mining sites. Skeleton, Microvast, Stäubli, Carnegie Robotics, Heliox, Spirae, Alliance Automation, Worley and Shell have come together to introduce Shell’s Mining Electrification Solutions for Off-Road Vehicles – an end-to-end and interoperable electrification system that reduces emissions without compromising on efficiency or safety, while aiming to be cost competitive versus diesel-powered operations. The pilot offer combines an innovative, high-powered battery solution with ultrafast charging and a standardised micro-grid energy system where the required solution can be complemented with renewable electricity generation on-site or through the grid.  

Grischa Sauerberg, Vice President, Sectoral Decarbonisation & Innovation. Image Credit: Shell

As an alternative energy source, electrification offers off-road industries the immediate potential to shift away from a long-standing reliance on diesel. For hard-to-abate sectors like mining, this is critical, since mobile equipment comprises between 40 and 50 per cent of mining’s CO2 emissions. By 2030, it is estimated that a battery-electric haulage truck will: lower total cost of ownership (TCO); involve 20 per cent lower maintenance costs; and incur 40 per cent lower fuel costs than existing diesel trucks.

“It is increasingly clear that no one, single organisation can solve decarbonisation alone,” said Grischa Sauerberg, Vice President, Sectoral Decarbonisation & Innovation at Shell. “The need for a collaborative effort is particularly evident within carbon-intensive industries like mining, where the challenges are great but the opportunities are even greater. To overcome these challenges and unlock these opportunities, Shell is helping to bring together some of the sector’s most innovative companies – with electrification proving an important first step towards the shaping of a clear decarbonisation pathway.” 

Shell’s Mining Electrification Solutions for Off-Road Vehicles consists of:  

  • Power provisioning and microgrids: aim to provide a consistent and reliable supply of renewable power in a safe and stable manner   
  • Ultra-fast charging: taking approximately 90 seconds via flexible, hardwearing and resilient, on-site, ultrafast charge-points, which provide assets with continuous operations in the most challenging of environments 
  • In-vehicle energy storage: through a combination of advanced battery and capacitor technologies that aim to deliver long lifetimes, ultra-fast charging and high performance  

As a result, mining operators are set to benefit from an integrated electrification solution that: 

  • Is end-to-end, covering the full journey of the electron from generation to delivery in the drive train 
  • Is interoperable between different Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) make and models, giving mining operators greater flexibility 
  • Is modular in design to allow mining customers the opportunity to tailor solutions to their specific needs 
  • Reduces emissions without compromising on operational efficiency or safety 

The challenge of decarbonisation is immense, but not impossible – providing collaboration and innovation go hand in hand at all times,” said Sauerberg. “Both of which were on show during the recent Charge On Innovation Challenge, which saw the Shell-led consortium of equipment manufacturers, technology partners, industry experts and Shell Energy – our in-house supplier of renewable power - push the boundaries of what is possible for hard-to-abate sectors like mining. Our winning solutions are proof of how, together, the industry can help power progress by realising the full potential of the technologies available to us – whether that is through electrification, digital tools or low-carbon fuels.” 

As Shell works together with customers and partners towards a new, cleaner era for mining, it is important to attract leading companies from other sectors of the economy who also want to make a positive contribution to reducing emissions. 


Video Credit: Shell 



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