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. But the title currently belongs to a mining truck called Elektro Dumper. Or eDumper, for short. It has a 5-ton battery pack that holds 700 kWh. Or seven times the largest battery pack available for a Tesla. And this is not even the most impressive element of this EV.
Due to its use, it is claimed to be the only EV that generates more energy than it spends. That’s because it has to climb a hill to collect lime and marl for the Ciments Vigier SA cement factory it works for.
It goes up unloaded and gets back down with around 60 tons of raw materials. With a 45 tons weight, it can carry 65 tons, for 110 tons of fully loaded weight. The eDumper does that around 20 times a day.
You must surely have understood what happens: 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. That will surely look absurd – as if a Perpetuum Mobile had just been invented.
In a recent article about the vehicle, CNN had Lucas Di Grassi drive the eDumper. The pilot mentions going uphill with 90 percent of charge, reaching the loading spot with 80 percent of charge and getting back to achieve 88 percent of charge. That may be closer to the truth.
There are more differences between CNN’s article and the info the company provides. CNN says the battery pack weighs 4.5 tons and delivers 600 kWh — you can see a short video the network produced in an embedded tweet below. 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 30.67 ft in (9.36 m) long, 13.92 ft in (4.24 m) wide, 14.42 ft in (4.40 m) high, and has a 14.08 ft in (4.30 m) wheelbase. Its dump height reaches 28.83 ft in (8.80 m).
While it had a 739 hp from a 1413 in³ (23.2 liters) turbodiesel engine, it now counts on a 789 hp single synchronous electric motor that delivers 7,007 lb-ft, more than enough to equate and even surpass the conventional mining truck. With more advantages in what relates to the environment.
The eDumper could save up to 130 tons of CO2 and 100,000 tons of liters of diesel every year. According to CNN, Di Grassi mentions saving 50,000 tons 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 run lots of conversions of mining trucks in the future.