From Kitco, October 10:
First-ever fuel-cell haul truck to be built
Anglo American is eating its own dog food.
The platinum group metal miner announced today that it tapped ENGIE, a low-carbon energy service provider, to help it develop the first ever hydrogen-powered mining haul truck.ENGIE is a bit more that "a low-carbon energy service provider". They clock over €60 billion in revenues and are a member of the CAC - 40
The 300-tonne haul truck will be converted to run on hydrogen. ENGIE will provide the hydrogen generation technology while Anglo American will develop the truck.
In July Anglo American announced plans to build the truck. A South African carbon tax may have been a spur to find internal-combustion engine alternatives.
The South African miner also has a stake in seeing hydrogen fuel-cell technology find its footing since the engines, like internal combustion engines, require a catalyst made from a platinum group metal to operate.
While lithium-ion technology is leaping to the fore, some analysts argue that fuel cell has some key advantages. Matt Watson, an analyst at Precious Metals Commodity Management, said fuel cell technology is a natural fit for industrial applications, such as powering buses, trains, ships and long-haul trucks. There is little down-time since the engine runs on a fuel like internal combustion engines. There is no waiting for a battery to be re-charged. Fuel cells vehicles are also lighter than battery-powered vehicles, especially at industrial sizes....MORE
And speaking of industrial scale, once you get over 200 - tonne capacity these haul trucks are almost ridiculously large. Here's one of the biggest:
That's Liebherr's T-282B, Curb Weight: 252.5 tonnes, Maximum Payload Capacity: 400 tonnes.
The 'B' was superseded by the 'C' which has since been replaced by the T-284 which weighs in at a svelte 237 tonnes while still being able to carry 363 tonnes.