The Anonymous Widower

Work Begins In South Africa On Largest Fuel-Cell Vehicle In The World

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is an explanatory paragraph.

The Anglo American mining company in South Africa is seeking to lead the way in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. It will be starting this effort with a 210 metric ton truck. The fuel-cell vehicle is the largest in the world and will operate at the Mogalakwena platinum mine.

These are some points from the article.

  • The nuGen haul truck began as a Komatsu 930E with a diesel-electric powertrain.
  • The haul truck’s traction motors are now powered by eight 100-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell modules. The modules were provided by Ballard.
  • They are complemented by a Williams Advanced Engineering lithium-ion battery pack capable of outputting 1.1MW.
  • The components were integrated in Seattle by First Mode.
  • The fuel-cell vehicle’s powertrain is 2MW (2,682 hp).
  • That is adequate for the haul truck to keep up its rating of 300 metric tons.
  • The truck and payload will reach 510 metric tons combined.

There are a lot of heavy numbers there.

There is this video from Anglo American.

May 11, 2022 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. Impressive lump of machinery which shows that its more than possible to build a hydrogen fuel cell powered heavy haul locomotive. DfT should sponsor getting a class 66 converted for trials.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | May 11, 2022 | Reply

  2. A number of large open pit mining operations use overhead catenary for very large electric trucks for hauling ore and over burden, as this is more flexable than converyors.

    Some 30 years ago I was involved in a trial in the use of an electric frount end loader ( for mucking ore out on an underground ore stope and tramming it to a tip & orepass down to a loading box which loaded rail trucks for electric haulage to the main crusher. The cable (no batteries) could not stand up to the rough conditions and the electrics on the loader could not stand up to the ore blasting shock wave. The cable was not long enough to move it out of range of the shockwave.

    Comment by Ben | May 11, 2022 | Reply

    • Sounds like a case for better design using lithium ion or other batteries that can stand up to the conditions.

      Did you watch the video. If mining companies adopt a rigorous solution, I suspect they have a chance of solving the problem. It may be a diesel engine running on hydrogen would have a part to play.

      Comment by AnonW | May 11, 2022 | Reply

  3. A very good video and instructive for the gestation required for a project of this kind to get from idea to prototype vehicle. I noticed from the video, and from some research I did when you highlighted an Australian loco project involving Anglo American a number of months back, that the South African mine haul truck was first mooted 3 years ago. At that time they were considering using an even larger Komatsu truck.
    No doubt the experience they get from the truck trials will benefit Anglo American’s loco aspirations in Australia.

    Comment by fammorris | May 12, 2022 | Reply

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