Can you imagine a giant mining truck hauling tons of ore using no energy? Sounds impossible right?
Meet the Elektro Dumper (called eDumper for short), the world’s largest electric vehicle which does just that in a quarry at Biel, Switzerland. It is a 110-ton (when loaded) dump truck that hauls lime and marl to a cement factory, all the while consuming zero energy.
The dumper (while empty) weighs 45 tons and can climb 13% grade inclines carrying 65 tons of ore. This is where the zero energy use comes in.
When loaded, the truck goes down the hill and uses regenerative braking to recharge its batteries, recharging enough power to climb back up the hill. This makes its net energy usage zero.
Design and Specifications
The eDumper was designed by Kuhn Schweitz and is modeled after a Komatsu HB 605-7.
It is 30 feet long, 14 feet wide and 14 feet tall. The wheels are 6 feet high, and the dump bed, when fully raised, reaches 28 feet.
A 600-kilowatt-hour battery pack has been fitted to the truck—large enough for 6 long-range Tesla Model S cars. The pack is based on Lithium-Ion batteries and weighs 9,000 pounds (4.5 tons).
Putting it to The Test
The dumper was put to the test by CNN who brought Formula 1 driver Lucas DiGrassi to test drive it, the dumper is owned by Ciments Vigier SA, a Swiss cement company.
According to Lucas, he reached the top of the hill with 80% battery and at the bottom, it had reached 88%.
According to its makers, the eDumper makes 20 trips a day and creates 200 kWh of surplus energy daily, or 77 megawatt-hours annually.
An average dump truck uses 11,000-22,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, not to mention the huge carbon footprint. The eDumper, on the other hand, reduces 196 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.