An Electric Dump Truck That Never Needs Recharging

Elektro Dumper (or eDumper) is a Komatsu HB 605-7 heavy duty truck (45 tonnes, 9.36 metres long, 4.24 metres wide, 4.4 metres high) which has been converted to electric power by Kuhn Schweitz of Germany. It is in service at the Ciments Vigier cement plant in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, about a half hour’s drive from Fourmilab.

The company mines lime and marl from a quarry at the top of a hill near the factory. The eDumper drives up the hill (around a 13% grade) under the power of its 4.4 tonne battery with a capacity of 600 kilowatt-hours. At the quarry, the 45 tonne truck is loaded with 65 tonnes of quarried rocks. Descending the hill with a total weight of 110 tonnes, its regenerative braking system generates more electricity than was consumed driving the empty truck up the hill. In fact, the regenerative braking system generates as much as 200 kWh surplus energy a day. eDumper is claimed to save 50,000 litres of fuel and 130 tonnes of CO₂ per year.

Obviously, if the cement factory were on a hill and the quarry down in a pit, this wouldn’t work, but given the circumstances here, the electric vehicle makes a lot of sense.


Important note: the load of rocks makes this work! Otherwise it doesn’t.


Very interesting. I wonder if a supercapacitor would work even better than a battery in this case:


Maybe we can export most of our ivy league graduates for use as ballast for various purposes… charge by the ton?


That is a lot of iPhone batteries wired together.