Volvo FH Electric truck at the Boliden Kankberg mine, transporting rock bolts and other equipment underground.
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Swedish mining company Boliden to use Volvo electric trucks for underground transport.

A Volvo FH Electric truck is set to become the first vehicle to serve the Boliden Kankberg mine, transporting rock bolts and other equipment underground.

Swedish mining group Boliden has announced plans to start using Volvo battery-electric trucks for heavy underground transport starting in 2023, making it one of the first mining companies in the world to do so. Electric trucks are expected to deliver several advantages, including no exhaust emissions, a safer workplace, and quieter working conditions.

Boliden is committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and is shifting towards more sustainable production methods to provide metals with a lower climate footprint. Diesel vehicles in mines are responsible for the majority of the carbon dioxide emissions, and electrification of transport is expected to play a critical role in achieving Boliden’s climate goals.

The cooperation agreement between Boliden and Volvo Trucks means that two heavy, electric Volvo trucks will be used in Boliden’s Kankberg mine, outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden. If all trucks in the mine were to be electric, the CO2 emissions from the mine could be reduced by more than 25 percent.

A Volvo FH Electric truck is set to become the first vehicle to serve the Kankberg mine, transporting rock bolts and other equipment underground. The truck is scheduled to enter service in 2023, and its performance will inform the decision to introduce another Volvo FH Electric for transporting rock and ore underground.

Volvo Trucks is the leading manufacturer of heavy electric trucks in Europe and the USA, offering the industry’s most extensive range of electric trucks. With six electric truck models in series production, the company’s vehicles are suitable for various transportation needs, including urban distribution, refuse disposal, regional transport, and construction traffic. Volvo’s target is to make electric trucks account for 50% of its new truck sales by 2030.

Jessica Lindholm, project manager at Volvo Trucks, said: This is an exciting collaboration in an environment with very tough demands; steep slopes, heavy loads, and humid air that wears on the vehicles. The collaboration with Boliden will give us valuable knowledge about the performance of electric trucks when driven underground, and provide answers to questions about how the driveline and batteries are affected. Reduced carbon dioxide emissions for mining transport also means that we, indirectly, will reduce our own CO2 emissions, because the mining industry’s raw materials are used in our trucks.

Dennis Forslund, project manager at Boliden, said: We see the collaboration with Volvo as a fantastic opportunity to push the electric technology forward and at the same time learn how to adapt our operations for a transition to fossil-free underground transport. A major benefit of the trucks is that they will contribute to a more sustainable mine, both in terms of emissions and also the working environment for our employees. In addition, the total amount of energy consumed in the mine will be lower as the electric drive is more energy efficient than a diesel engine, and it is possible to capture the electricity regenerated during engine braking on downhill slopes.

Recently, Volvo delivered the first heavy electric truck to Africa. Volvo delivered an FE Electric truck to Arma, a refuse collection company in Morocco. It will be used for collecting waste in the city of Rabat.

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