Atlas Copco announced plans to accelerate its development of electric powered machines for use in underground mining.
"Our customers’ future is electric," said Andreas Nordbrandt, President of Atlas Copco Underground Rock Excavation Division, based in Örebro, Sweden. Development will now be focused on zero-emission and battery-driven machinery. The company has immediate plans to expand its current portfolio of electric mining equipment including loaders, drill rigs and mine trucks.
Atlas Copco will continue to support all customers who rely on diesel-driven equipment but the decision to completely advance beyond diesel is a definitive move. "It's high time to look forward and leave fossil fuels behind," says Nordbrandt. "We must consider the mining industry's carbon footprint and assume our responsibility as an industry leader.”
Atlas Copco's electric powered loaders, trucks and drill rigs have been extensively tested in the field and the machines currently on offer have proven that this technology is ready to take over. “Zero emission machines already offer the same or even better performance as diesel, and this is only the beginning, productivity and profitability will only improve from here,” said Erik Svedlund, Global Marketing Manager Electrification at Atlas Copco.
"Electric and battery-powered vehicles is the future in underground mining," said Nordbrandt. "Besides the lower running cost of the machines themselves, there are considerable savings to be had in ventilation and cooling. But most importantly, electric machines contribute to a safer and healthier work environment for miners everywhere."
The company is putting the final touches on the next battery powered models.
Nordbrandt affirmed, "Our goal is zero-emission mining. We can achieve that through a commitment to science and technology. This is a power change that changes everything."