Atlas Copco targets zero emissions

9 November 2017

Sweden - Equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco has announced that its development activities will be focused on zero-emission and battery-driven machinery. In a statement it spoke of immediate plans to expand its current portfolio of electric mining equipment including loaders, drill rigs and mine trucks.

"Our customers’ future is electric," says Andreas Nordbrandt, president of Atlas Copco’s underground rock excavation division. And according to Erik Svedlund, global marketing manager – electrification, electric machines have proven that this technology is ready to take over, “Zero emission machines already offer the same or even better performance as diesel, and this is only the beginning, productivity and profitability will only improve from here.”

Atlas Copco will continue to support all customers who rely on diesel-driven equipment but the decision to move beyond diesel is firm. "It's high time to look forward and leave fossil fuels behind," said Nordbrandt. "We must consider the industry's carbon footprint and assume our responsibility as an industry leader. Electric and battery-powered vehicles are the future in underground mining.”

In response to Tunnels and Tunnelling queries related to the performance boosts enjoyed by electric sports cars, an Atlas Copco spokesperson responded, "Yes, the battery-run equipment has great potential to increase performance.

"Faster acceleration, higher speed up ramps, higher speed for hydraulics. High torque when loading, faster speed up ramps and the powerful acceleration are all things that most operators love. However, it may not be safe to give the machines “race car performance”. We therefore try to use the potential the electric drive wisely.

"For example, the full power and speed can be made available for the hydraulics without having to use the throttle to 'rev up' the diesel engine. This improves energy efficiency and can improve performance."