Interact Analysis Predicts Slow Adoption of Transport Truck Electrification in Surface Mines

The electrical revolution seems to be well and truly underway in the mining space, with underground mines of all sizes planning, testing, or ordering various battery-powered electrical machines to help them decarbonize their operations. Still, Interact Analysis’s latest off-road vehicle market report indicated that the surface transition will take a little longer than expected.

Focusing specifically on the global over 85t transporter / dump truck market – widely applicable to mid to large size construction space and small to large size surface mining industry – the company of Market research has established estimates for the annual number of new truck deliveries through 2029.

The surprising aspect of this research was the continued dominance of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle deliveries during this period.

The Interact Analysis team expected the adoption rate / market share to rise from 100% in 2020 – when 1,330 new vehicles were delivered – to 96.2% in 2029 – when it s ‘expected 1,716 units to be delivered.

The growth is slightly extreme in this comparison, but is partly explained by lower shipments in 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19. For reference, in 2019, 2,065 units were delivered.

ICE statistics include biofuel vehicles, which have gained prominence in the mining space as miners realize they can reduce both diesel costs and emissions by incorporating biofuels. in their operating mix.

During the same period – 2020-2029 – analysts see “hybrid” trucks having a zero percent market share, with no sales.

Fully electric trucks are doing better, going from zero deliveries in 2020 to two in 2021, five in 2022, six in 2023; to 72 in 2028 and 67 in 2029. The adoption rate of 100% electric goes from 0% in 2020 to 3.8% in 2029.

Among these new fully electric dump trucks, a 90 t XCMG EDF531 battery electric truck that was on display at the show Bauma China show at the end of last year (photo below).

Jan Zhang, senior research director at China-based Interact Analysis, said this dump truck has already been delivered to a customer.

“In fact, a number of fully electric dump trucks under 100t have already been used in China (in Guangdong),” she said. I AM. “Many of them have payloads of less than 60t, but a few are 90t and are being tested, and a few have also been exported to New Zealand, using the LiFePO4 battery from CATL. “

Much has been said about the hydrogen transport trucks that are installed in the mining area. This was catalyzed by Anglo American’s plans to test a 291t fuel cell electric vehicle, hydrogen fuel cell conversion and lithium battery of a diesel-powered Komatsu 930E, at the mine in platinum from Mogalakwena in South Africa. If successful, these tests could lead to a deployment of 40 FCEVs in the operations of the global miner, he said.

Despite this, Interact Analysis research does not have payload hydrogen trucks over 85t included in its forecast until 2029.

Alastair Hayfield, Senior Research Director at UK-based Interact Analysis, explains: “Our statistics are only for new builds and not for renovations. My understanding is that Anglo American vehicles would be modernized (although there are few details at this point).

“If any are new build, we will update our forecast accordingly once we have better visibility.”

It is worth asking the question: what about hydrogen trucks in mines beyond 2029?

Zhang said, “At present, mining trucks are mainly used in medium and large scale coal and metal mining, and the use scenario is mainly for heavy downhill payload applications. That is, when the mineral resources are located high up, and it is necessary to load them from the mountain to the conveyor belt or to the transfer vehicle (the short distance transport path is usually 2-3 km).

She said that the electrification of mining trucks is mainly due to two factors, the first being the benefits of operating costs.

Jan Zhang, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in China

“For example, a mining truck with a total weight of 90 t will cost $ 45,000-75,000 in standard fuel per year, while the cost of electricity is only a third of the cost of fuel under the same circumstances. , which means $ 30,000-45,000 can be saved in the annual cost, not to mention other costs that are also higher for ICE mining trucks such as repair and maintenance, ”she said. declared.

The second factor is environmental protection and policy promotion.

“In China, the ‘National Green Mine Construction Specification’, published by the Ministry of Natural Resources, has been implemented since October 2018,” said Zhang. “This measure will surely help increase the market share of hydrogen trucks in China, although the overall percentage will remain low. “

The last category included in Interact Analysis’s research was “Others” in the global transporter / dump truck market for vehicles over 85t.

No deliveries for this category were recorded in 2020, but the company expects a delivery in 2021, followed by three in 2022 and five in 2023. This reaches eight deliveries in 2025, but, by the end of the period forecast (2029), this category always commands 0.0% of the total.

So which trucks fall into this category?

Hayfield explained, “We’re talking about diesel-electric going into service in a streetcar line operation – basically we have to make an estimate of how we think the vehicle will be primarily used. This is analogous to what we do in our road research where we have to make estimates on how Class 8 trucks are used for different applications i.e. long haul, distribution, professional applications.

This is not to say that there will not be cart assistance carts entering the mining space, but, as far as Interact Analysis is concerned, it will not be new carts coming out of the factory. intended to move towards the lines of wagons. Most likely, these will be AC ​​drive trucks that will be installed later for cart assisted operation.

When consolidated, these numbers show an underlying trend.

In 2019, 2,065 trucks were delivered to the market in this category over 85 tonnes, but, even until 2029, this level is not reached, according to Interact Analysis.

Alastair Hayfield, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, UK based

In 2020, total shipments have fallen to 1,330, and in 2021, Interact Analysis sees this figure rise to 1,545 units. A continuous increase is expected in the following years, but it will only reach 1,783 in 2029.

What about beyond this deadline?

Hayfield replied, “You have two fundamental pressures: a growing and resource-hungry population and a need to reuse / reduce consumption due to environmental and / or legislative pressure. I suspect we will continue to see the growth of new mines throughout the 2030s in developing regions, fueling demand for new trucks. However, I suspect that we will see increasing pressure in Europe and North America on sustainability and the need to reuse materials and, as a result, a slowdown in the opening of new mines. “

This means that the demand for new trucks could start to decline during the 2030s in Europe and North America, he deduced.

This is not an exhaustive overview of surface mining dump truck market trends – rather, it is just a taste – but Interact Analysis provides for a detailed and operation-specific study. mining later in 2021. Such an analysis could include forecasts for the modernization market, providing the full picture that spectators of the mining industry are looking for.

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