Electric Vehicles Electric Underground Trucks Make for Safer Work Environments

Published on July 21st, 2013 | by Jo Borrás

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Electric Underground Trucks Make for Safer Work Environments

Atlas Copco Electric

Whether it’s mining for coal, digging out an underground bunker to survive the apocalypse in, or building New York’s new subway system, one of the biggest problems facing workers underground is ventilation. Letting fresh, breathable air in and getting harmful, carbon saturated air out is a tremendous challenge for underground construction crews, but heavy equipment maker AtlasCopco has just introduced a new line of ultra-heavy underground trucks and Earth-movers that’s about to make life easier for thousands of underground workers. How? It’s electric!

AtlasCopco’s new EMT50 electric mine trucks have 50 ton payloads and are said to reduce the cost per ton of extracted materials by as much as 50% when compared with traditional, diesel-powered heavy equipment. This is primarily due to the reduced need for the incredibly expensive gas-scavenging systems required to keep crews alive and healthy more than four miles beneath the surface.

AtlasCopco makes a full line of electric loaders and underground trucks for a variety of projects. You can learn more about the EMT 50 model in the company’s brochure, at bottom, and the company’s “green line” commercial video, below. Enjoy!

The Electric Minetruck EMT50 is a high-productive 50 tonnes load capacity underground truck. It’s about twice as fast as any diesel truck with the same capacity, which makes it the most productive truck in the world. High efficiency electric motors drive the axles directly, minimizing transmission losses. Regenerative braking returns the energy to the grid. About 30% of the energy consumed up the ramp is regenerated going back down.

Features & Benefits

  • High efficiency electric motors reduces the energy consumption with up to 70% compared to diesel trucks

  • High speed make the electric truck 20% more productive compared to a diesel equivalent truck

  • Ventilation costs can be kept to a minimum

  • Very low heat are generated in the mine

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    Source | Photos: Atlas Copco, via Motorpasion.



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    About the Author

    I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



    • egogg

      Having worked around typical electric coal haling equipment for years, I can tell you it’s not a magic bullet. The batteries are 60’s vintage technology vented lead-acids. This is because MSHA is too lazy to update the regulations so we could use newer technologies.

      Are they quieter, cleaner, and faster? Yes. While they’re fully charged. Our mine had 5 charging stations and each station had a nightmarish collection of mandated sensing equipment I had to manage to make sure the batteries were not:

      1. Overheating
      2. Venting explosive hydrogen gas
      3. Burning
      4. Charging too fast/slow/not at all.

      Oh, and if one of the cad-welds fail in production, the battery could melt down in an active haulageway, shutting down production until the machine can be towed into a cross-cut, which could be an hour or more. Run-on sentence, I know.

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