Sandvik introduces underground mining’s largest-capacity battery-electric truck

Sandvik is introducing what it says is the largest-capacity battery-electric truck for underground mining, with the release of the Sandvik TH665B. The unit was launched today, February 17, at The Electric Mine 2022 conference in Stockholm, Sweden by keynote speaker Henrik Ager, President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.

With a 65-t-payload capacity, the Sandvik TH665B prototype is completing factory testing in California, USA. Finalisation of the trial agreement with Barminco and AngloGold Ashanti Australia will soon see the truck trialed at the Sunrise Dam gold mine in Western Australia to prove its viability in a long ramp haulage application before commercial production of the Sandvik TH665B is expected to commence in late 2023.

Following the introduction of the Sandvik TH550B 50-tonne battery-electric vehicle at MINExpo INTERNATIONAL® 2021, last September, Sandvik is continuing to execute on its BEV strategy by expanding its line of battery-electric trucks and loaders to include both larger and smaller size classes, it said. The Sandvik TH665B is engineered to improve productivity, sustainability and cost efficiency in bulk mining operations.

Henrik Ager states: “With more than 50 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of underground mining equipment, we’re proud to continue to lead the way in helping customers embrace more sustainable solutions. Our 65-t battery-electric truck is our latest development in helping mass hard-rock miners and contractors to make the shift towards more productive, emission-free mining.”

The Sandvik TH665B blends proven Sandvik design and advanced technology built around electric drivelines and battery systems. Due to an extremely efficient electric driveline, a fully loaded Sandvik TH665B is expected to be up to 30% faster on a 1:7 ramp than a comparable conventional diesel underground truck.

Each of the truck’s four wheels is equipped with independent drives, resulting in a simpler driveline, improved overall efficiency and maximum power output. The Sandvik TH665B electric drivetrain delivers 640 kW of continuous power, enabling high acceleration and fast ramp speeds, Sandvik said.

The truck is equipped with Sandvik’s patented self-swapping system, including the AutoSwap and AutoConnect functions, which enables battery swap in a matter of minutes, and without any major infrastructure like overhead cranes or other heavy-handling equipment. The Sandvik TH665B also features a new battery lifting system for improved reliability. Sandvik has redesigned the battery cage design to improve serviceability, enabling battery module changes without a need to remove the battery packs from the cage for service.

The new truck operator cabin uses the same design as the cabin of Sandvik’s Toro™ TH663i underground truck, with the cabin offering premium operator ergonomics with a significant number of adjustment possibilities to facilitate a comfortable operating environment, the company said. The central oscillation frame design results in stability, and front axle suspension, ensuring a smooth ride on rough roads. The cabin is equipped with joystick steering, large touchscreen colour display and the newest control system, providing easy access to equipment data.