BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale, three of the world’s biggest resource companies, have launched the Charge On Innovation Challenge, a global competition for technology innovators to develop new concepts for large-scale haul truck electrification systems to help significantly cut emissions from surface mine operations and unlock safety, productivity, and operational improvements. Rio Tinto recently announced. (Rio Tinto’s logo quoted from Yahoo’s image)


BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale are the Founding Patrons of the Challenge, in partnership with Australia’s Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) industry body Austmine. The Challenge is expected to attract additional interest from resource companies that maintain substantial haul truck fleets and are looking for innovative concepts to deliver electricity to large battery-electric haul trucks.​


Current stationary charging systems require substantial time to charge large trucks, which would result in significant lost productivity. The mining industry needs multi-megawatt scale fast charging concepts capable of delivering around 400kWh to charge (and propel) a truck within the truck’s haul cycle (load, travel, dump, return, queue). 


The mining industry needs to be at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge. The Charge On Innovation Challenge is a great example of the current collaborative work being done by the mining industry and mobile equipment manufacturers to decarbonise mining fleets. In addition to providing a zero-carbon energy source, the conversion of mobile mining equipment to battery electric can potentially unlock value, as electric motors have fewer moving parts when compared to standard equipment.


Several non-traditional mining sector vendors are actively developing technologies that can be applied to mine electrification. The Challenge is expected to demonstrate an emerging market for charging solutions in mining, accelerate commercialisation of solutions, and integrate innovations from other industries into the mining sector.


The Challenge Expression of Interest process will open on Tuesday, 18 May, and candidates who make the short list are expected to pitch their concepts later during this calendar year.