Anglo American and First Mode unveiled the world’s lightest 510-tonne truck’ which runs on
hydrogen power. The truck is believed to be a first for a truck of this size and load capacity (a 220t
truck with a load capacity of 290t, providing a total laden weight of 510t) to have been retrofitted
from a diesel-electric to a hydrogen fuel cell powerplant.
The truck, a key driver of Anglo’s FutureSmart Mining program and four-year Sustainable Mining
plan, uses a combination of hydrogen fuel cell and batteries for power. Batteries allow braking
energy to be recovered during operation while the hydrogen used in the fuel cell is produced on-site
using solar energy.
FLANDERS has been engaged in a partnership with First Mode to deliver a detailed report
determining how a specialized FLANDERS drivetrain (controls, drive, and motors) would be designed
and developed to operate the truck with the highest efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness. As
part of the deliverable, FLANDERS will provide the list of components to pre-order to accelerate
product lead time. The goal is to reduce the risk of extending the product delivery timeline due to
the supply chain constraints for electric components.
FLANDERS is able to provide a scope of delivery, including budgetary costs, hardware, installation
and commissioning, testing, and ongoing support utilizing worldwide service centers. The scope also
details the estimated delivery schedule for the project.
Willie van Ryneveld, VP of International Operations, said, “At FLANDERS, we realize the importance
of green hydrogen in the decarbonization of heavy-duty mobility. We are dedicated to helping
industry leaders like Anglo accomplish carbon neutrality goals. We are excited to partner with Anglo
American to aid their nuGen™ proof of concept. Through this partnership, we aim to utilize our years
of expertise, unlocking the potential of fuel cell and battery usage in the nuGen™ trucks in South
Africa and the wider mining industry.”
FLANDERS specializes in developing, manufacturing, integrating, and deploying advanced
technologies for the world’s largest machines with electric rotating systems. With flexibility and
custom manufacturing capabilities, FLANDERS enable the design and manufacturing of high-power
motors and drive systems in industries such as mining, heavy equipment, mills, and processing
plants. Additionally, FLANDERS offers motor repair services and custom electric motors capable of
handling the harshest operating conditions.
FLANDERS solutions and systems are Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agnostic and are
customized to meet customers’ specific requirements.
How the nuGen™ truck works
Hydrogen enters the fuel cell from the tank and mixes with oxygen to create water in a chemical
reaction catalyzed by platinum. This generates electricity to power the motors that drive the wheels,
and the only emission from the vehicle is water vapor.
The 2MW hybrid battery/hydrogen fuel cell powerplant, which replaces the truck’s diesel engine,
has been designed by Anglo American and partner First Mode in Seattle, USA.
The truck’s power management and battery systems have been developed to improve overall
efficiency by recovering energy when the haul trucks travel downhill through regenerative braking.
By harvesting the regenerative energy created when driving downhill, Anglo reduces the need for
external power. This energy, stored in the battery and the hydrogen, extends the truck’s range and
reduces the out-of-cycle time for the trucks since hydrogen refueling is significantly faster than
Mr. van Ryneveld added, “Through the partnership between FLANDERS and Anglo-First Mode (along
with other key tech companies involved in the pilot), we are working together to determine how
FLANDERS controls, drive, and motors, can be designed and built specifically for operation with this
hybrid battery fuel cell system. If possible, it will enable Anglo American to safely manage power and
energy between the fuel cells, batteries, and vehicle drivetrain, enabling Anglo to tailor the system
to each mine and improve overall efficiency.”
According to its Sustainability Report, Anglo American is building the fuel-cell and battery-powered
truck capabilities at its Mogalakwena mine, which is set to enter service in 2022. It will be a
frontrunner to a fleet of similar trucks at seven operations by 2030.