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EV Plug-In: Finning to help replace mine’s 160-truck fleet

Finning International Inc., BHP Group Ltd. and Caterpillar Inc. have a long-term agreement to rep...

IMAGE: Caterpillar's electric drive truck

The Caterpillar 798 AC electric drive mining truck. (Courtesy Caterpillar Inc.)

Finning International Inc., BHP Group Ltd. and Caterpillar Inc. have a long-term agreement to replace BHP’s entire haul truck fleet at the Escondida mine, the world’s largest copper producer, in Antofagasta in northern Chile.

The existing vehicles will be replaced with Caterpillar‘s 798 AC electric drive trucks. The first trucks are expected to arrive in the first half of 2023, with the replacement of the 160-strong fleet taking place over the next decade.

Caterpillar (CAT-N) is the world’s leading manufacturer of mining and construction equipment — with $51 billion in revenues for 2021. Finning (FTT-T), headquartered in Surrey, B.C., is the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer. It provides equipment, parts, services and performance solutions in Western Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, the U.K. and Ireland.

The 798 AC can deliver up to 372 tonnes per load. Its electric drive operates at 2,600 volts.

“We are very pleased to build on our long-term relationship with BHP (BHP-N) to support its Escondida operations by improving efficiency, productivity, and safety, as well as reducing its carbon footprint, supporting its diversity and inclusion journey, and contributing to the development of capabilities in Antofagasta,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning, in a prepared statement.

“This is the largest fleet deal in Finning’s history, and will significantly expand the Caterpillar truck population and support the transition towards cleaner energy, with electric drive trucks and future zero-emission trucks.”

BHP, based in Melbourne, is a mining and resources company that extracts some of the raw materials used in EVs, including nickel.

Mobi by Shaw Go launches e-bikes in Vancouver

Vancouver’s public bike share system, Mobi by Shaw Go, marked its sixth anniversary by launching 500 e-bikes and 30 electric stations.

The Mobi program in Vancouver, sponsored by Shaw Communications, launched in 2016. It is operated by Vancouver Bike Share Inc., a subsidiary of CycleHop LLC — the largest ‘smart bike’ provider in North America.

Mobi’s total bike ecosystem now stands at 2,500 bikes and 250 stations.

The bikes are capable of providing pedal assist at up to 25 km/h over three different levels.

To coincide with the announcement, B.C. Hydro and Herbaland have also signed-on as Mobi sponsors.

GreenPower opens West Virginia facility

GreenPower Motor Company Inc. has opened its 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 30 Industrial Way in South Charleston, W. Va. Founded in 2010 in Vancouver, GreenPower (GPV-X) primarily operates out of Porterville, Calif.

The South Charleston facility, which will begin operations this month, has the capacity to produce 150 electric buses per quarter.

It will provide approximately 200 jobs to the state within the next year, and up to 900 when the company reaches full production. GreenPower is also partnering with Bridge Valley Community and Technical College to provide hands-on training to incoming workers.

In June, SustainableBiz reported on GreenPower acquiring the facility, building on previous plans West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice had announced regarding the production of zero-emission EVs in the state.

“The facility will be instrumental in ramping-up production of our all-electric school buses, the BEAST and Nano BEAST, in time to meet the demand created by EPA’s Clean School Bus Program and state legislative mandates,” said Fraser Atkinson, GreenPower’s CEO and chairman, in a statement at the time.

The BEAST is a 40-foot, 90-passenger, Type-D school bus. The Nano BEAST is a 25-foot Type-A school bus available with standard or accessible seating. Both have a range of 150 miles and can charge up to 20 KW on a DC fast charge.

Euro Manganese updates InnoEnergy investments

Euro Manganese Inc. has unveiled new details about the final portion of EIT InnoEnergy‘s investment into the company.

The first two advancements totalling $278,012 went through in 2021, for which Netherlands-based sustainable energy investor EIT received a number of shares in return. The final advancement of $80,606 brings the total investment to $358,615.

The funds were allocated to the Chvaletice Manganese Project feasibility study, the results of which SustainableBiz reported on in July. It will also go toward the Chvaletice demonstration plant, which is intended to produce large-scale samples of high-purity manganese for use in EVs and EV batteries.

Euro Manganese (EMN-X), based in Vancouver, was founded to facilitate the mine project. The mine is about 90 km east of Prague in the Czech Republic and the project involves recycling tailings from the decommissioned site which operated between 1951 and 1975.

A release states the project is the only sizeable manganese resource in the European Union.

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