During the National Business Meeting (ENADE), Enel X and SQM presented “E-Truck“, the first 100% electric high tonnage mining truck, which will operate at SQM‘s sites in the Antofagasta Region.
According to the press release published by Enel, the new 28-ton Yutong “E-Truck” for mining will travel a route of 86 kilometers from the Coya Sur plant, located in María Elena, to the port of Tocopilla, with an estimated monthly travel distance of more than 7,500 kilometers, thus avoiding the emission of approximately 12 tons of CO2 per year.
The project seeks to test the autonomy of electric trucks for large-scale mining and their constructive capabilities to work at the same level as a diesel mining truck of similar characteristics.
It will also validate the operation of the truck and its high-powered charging infrastructure, and how it adapts to the normal operating schedule of the plant, its operations and its response to the saline environment of the area.
For the purchase of this electric truck, Enel X and SQM developed a financial leasing model and the installation of a 150kW charging point, unique in Chile, which allows a 100% charge in 3 hours.
The charging infrastructure will be installed at the Coya Sur plant in María Elena, guaranteeing an autonomy of more than 200 kilometers.
Karla Zapata, General Manager of Enel X, said that the incorporation of the first large-tonnage electric truck for mining represents a new milestone in the development of electromobility in Chile.
“We are proud to lead this project together with our partners at SQM. This step is a fundamental piece in moving towards an increasingly cleaner energy matrix, and also contributes to decarbonize and electrify the country’s main productive sector such as mining,” he said.
In the same vein, Rodrigo Jasen, Global Logistics Manager emphasized that “this initiative is part of the Corporate Sustainability Plan which includes, among other goals, environmental commitments to become a carbon neutral company by 2040.
“For us, this is an important milestone as one of the world leaders in the production of lithium, a key input for the development of electromobility,” he said.
“We are also relevant players in other products that contribute to improving the quality of life, such as iodine, fertilizers and solar salts for the production of clean energy,” he added.
Jansen explained that they have made progress in different projects such as the installation of an off-grid electro-lane at the Antofagasta Lithium Chemical Plant, a high-power charging station at Coya Sur, electric vans and buses at different sites and the incorporation of mobile electric maintenance workshops, which he considers a pioneer in Chilean mining.