It is fantastic to see collaboration between a global scale mining house like BHP and car manufacturer like Toyota. They will work together to trial EV’s for underground use. Diesel powered light vehicles will be the first steppingstone in the move to full electrification, as their power requirement for a 12-hour shift can potentially be delivered by existing battery technology.
The current Toyota Landcruiser 70 series utility will be converted in house by Toyota to a full electric motor. This modification has been completed by Toyota’s Product and Development division in Port Melbourne. They will use the standard diesel car’s rolling chassis and change the usual V8 for a Toyota built all electric lump.
I had wondered if Toyota may come to the rugged EV party, as their Land Cruiser are just so dominant across the Australian underground mining landscape. This trial could be a starting point for possible transition and delivery to the wider mining industry. It is fantastic to see Toyota bring their knowledge and expertise, which they have built over the last decade with their hybrid offerings, to the mining sector.
Very little about the first Toyota made EV Landcruiser has been released, and the next question would have to be if they would make them for public use?
It will be interesting to see how the trial unfolds and what additional infrastructure is chosen to deliver power to the car at shift change. This could possibly be the starting point of more Australian mine sites utilising solar power for increased green credentials and reduced carbon emissions.