The Innovative Vehicle Institute (IVI), Propulsion Québec, and the partners of the electric mining vehicle (EMV) project—Adria Power Systems, Dana TM4, L. Fournier et Fils, Nouveau Monde Graphite, CanmetMINING, Natural Resources Canada and National Research Council Canada (NRCC)—are pleased to announce the start of a nine-month test phase of an open-pit mining vehicle and its infrastructure, starting in summer 2022 at the Nouveau Monde Graphite mine in Saint-Michel-des-Saints.
The EMV project, announced in November 2020, consists of developing a new electric propulsion system and fast charging infrastructure suitable for heavy vehicles in the open-pit mining industry. It was made possible by a $2 million investment through Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Growth Program and the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation’s Innov-R program, administered by InnovÉÉ. The project, which also received funding from Société du Plan Nord, marks a major turning point in the electrification of heavy vehicles in North America.
This new phase of the EMV project will test a 40-tonne Western Star 6900XD truck under real conditions in various operating contexts related to mining industry needs. The engine and components have been replaced and adapted for electrification, and charging infrastructure with an impressive 1 MW capacity has been developed to power it. The test phase will run from July 2022 to March 2023 in order to subject the service vehicle and its infrastructure to different weather conditions. The goal is to refine the technology and test the efficiency of the various components (including the battery) with a view to commercializing an efficient 100% electric technological solution that meets the needs of the open-pit mining industry at lower cost and can be adapted to other types of heavy vehicles.
The Innovative Vehicle Institute will oversee the test phase in collaboration with the Nouveau Monde Graphite team, which will coordinate operations in the field. The results will be the subject of a report on the findings and the lessons learned.