Its manufacturer claims it can generate more energy than it consumes. But how is that even possible?
You may think the largest EV will be a plane or a ship, when they start to receive batteries. However, the title currently belongs to a mining truck called the Elektro Dumper or eDumper for short. It has a 5-tonne battery pack that delivers 700 kWh or seven times the largest battery pack available for a Tesla, but this is not even the most impressive feature of this EV.
Due to its function it is claimed to be the only EV that generates more energy than it consumes. That’s because it has to climb a hill to collect lime and marl for its owner, the Ciments Vigier SA cement factory.
It goes up to the work site unloaded and brings back down around 60 tonnes of raw materials. With a 45 tonne weight, it can carry 65 tonnes, for a combined 110 tonnes of fully loaded mass. The eDumper makes this journey around 20 times a day.
It is all due to regenerative braking. Kuhn Schweitz, who has produced the eDumper with the help of Lithium Storage GmbH, claims the vehicle can produce a surplus of up to 200 kWh in energy every day.
Per year, that amounts to 77 MWh. Kuhn Schweitz says this additional energy can be used by the factory, which generates more money, or at least allows the company to spend less.
In a recent article about the vehicle, CNN had Brazilian racer Lucas Di Grassi to drive the eDumper. The Formula E driver mentions going uphill with 90 percent of charge, reaching the loading spot with 80 percent of charge and then coming back down to achieve 88 percent of charge.
There are more differences between CNN’s article and the info the company provides. CNN says the battery pack weighs 4.5 tonnes and delivers 600 kWh. We got in touch with Kuhn and Lithium Storage to understand what happened and will update the article as soon as we have answers.
The Komatsu HB 605-7 on which the eDumper is based is 9.36 metres (30.67 ft) long, 4.24 m (13.92 ft) wide, 4.40 m (14.42 ft) high, and has a 4.30 m (14.08 ft) wheelbase. Its dump height reaches 8.80 m (28.83 ft in).
Originally equipped with 739 bhp from a 23.2 litre turbodiesel engine, it now has 789 bhp via a single synchronous electric motor that delivers 7,007 lb-ft of torque. This is more than enough to equate and even surpass the conventional mining truck.
The eDumper could save up to 130 tonnes of CO2 and 100,000 litres of diesel every year. However, according to CNN's report, the eDumper saves 50,000 tonnes of diesel per year.
Whatever the real numbers are, the electric giant is still a very interesting thing to see. If it proves to be a rational and wise business decision, Kuhn and Lithium Storage will have to build lots of conversions of mining trucks in the future.