While electric vehicles are quickly proliferating throughout the world, most electric engines are still relegated to smaller vehicles. The serious work, some argue, is still done by fuel-guzzling diesel engines. But then there's the Elektro Dumper—the world's largest EV—which flouts the rule that EVs can't handle serious work.
The truck is used to haul lime and marlstone, which contains clay and silt, from the sides of mountains in Switzerland. Then the material is transported directly to a cement factory. But here's the really impressive piece of engineering: this heavy dump truck never needs to be charged.
Here's how it works: The dump truck itself weighs 45 tons. Say it ascends a hill with a 13 percent grade. On the way back down, it's carrying 65 tons of ore, making it more than twice as heavy. To manage that scenario, the truck's regenerative-braking system recaptures the energy created by going downhill, refilling the battery's charge for the next time the truck travels uphill.
The dump truck is officially called the Elektro Dumper, but the Swiss manufacturer, Kuhn Group, made life a lot easier by naming it eDumper for short. The eDumper was modeled on the Komatsu HD605-7, a massive dump truck that's 30 feet long, 14 feet wide, and 14 feet tall. The tires are six feet high, and the dump bed reaches up to 28 feet when fully extended.
The stock dump truck was also painted green, and Kuhn added a 600-kWh battery pack to the vehicle—that's the capacity of six long-range Tesla Model S cars. The lithium-ion battery pack weighs 9000 pounds.
The company said that making the trip from quarry to cement factory 20 times in one day produces a surplus of 200 kWh of energy, which is a little more that the amount of energy found in six gallons of gasoline. Your average dump truck, by contrast, uses between 11,000 and 22,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
You do the math.