After years of development, the world’s largest zero emission vehicle was unveiled today in a platinum gold mine in South Africa. The hydrogen fuel hybrid device was designed and manufactured by first mode, headquartered in Seattle.
A three story, 200 ton nugen hybrid mining truck of Anglo American was grandly seen off by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the mogalakwena open pit platinum mine.
“This is a wise step for Anglo American, but it is a huge leap for South Africa’s hydrogen economy as we move towards the future,” ramafossa said. “Hydrogen is calling us as an economy.”
Chris Voorhees, President and CEO of first mode, said that zero emission industrial power will play a key role in coping with the global climate crisis. Large trucks currently account for 70% to 80% of Anglo American’s mine diesel consumption, but a nugen truck is expected to keep carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 700 cars in the atmosphere.
“In the first mode, we know that we are in the moment of ‘lighting everything,'” Vohs said at a news conference. “The urgency before us requires us to deploy every tool and technology to address climate change. I am proud of our team and our partnership with Anglo American, which is focused on eliminating carbon from the source to achieve the meaningful and necessary change we all seek.”
According to the statistics provided by first mode, the mining industry accounts for about 7% of the global carbon dioxide emissions, of which diesel transport trucks account for 50% of the total energy consumption of the mining area.
Anglo American’s nugen truck gets fuel from the solar hydrogen plant in mogalakwena. First mode, in cooperation with Williams advanced engineering, Ballard, engine and nproxx, has developed a 2 MW hybrid power unit that uses a hydrogen fuel cell system that can provide up to 800 kW of power, plus a 1.2 MWh battery pack.
The Komatsu 930e truck, which has been modified, is designed to transport up to 290 tons of ore, according to the international mining company. During its debut at the mogarakwena platinum mine today, it loaded 150 tons of ore onto a 7% slope and then fell off the payload.
Anglo American’s nugen project is part of a clean energy program called futuresmart mining, which aims to make the company’s mining business carbon neutral by 2040.
Finally, 40 heavy diesel trucks in mogalakwena open pit mine will be converted into hybrid hydrogen battery power, and then nugen system will be extended to Anglo American’s fleet of about 400 trucks around the world.
Mining is not the only industry benefiting from first mode engineering services. The Seattle based company, which also has an office in Perth, Australia, has been developing a hydrogen powered cross-country racing car and contributing to space work, such as NASA’s psyche mission to explore small metal rich planets and the perseverance Mars Rover Mission.