Ten prototypes of the locally developed Bortana electric vehicle are making their way to minesites across Australia for testing underground and general mining.
The Bortana, a battery powered vehicle fitted into a rugged utility vehicle by Victorian e-mobility group Safescape, has been in use on three sites for the past year.
In total up to 20 prototypes are to be built.
Developed in a collaborative industry effort led by the Mets Ignited industry growth centre, the vehicle is based on the Agrale Marruá, a heavy-duty, corrosion resistant Brazilian vehicle.
Mets Ignited provided support of $500,000 while industry partners Safescape, Minetech Australia, Aeris Resources, and Cougar Mining Group spent $700,000 developing the Bortana.
The vehicle was developed for the partners by e-mobility group 3ME Technology.
According to Safescape the benefits of a light battery EV include low maintenance costs, high up time, zero emissions, low heat generation and safer operational controls.
Maintenance cost and up time benefit comes from the fact that EV system components are mainly solid state, and there are not many wear parts and even fewer moving parts.
The batteries and some other EV specific components are made in Australia by 3ME Technology.
The smart lithium-ion batteries have been purpose designed for mining, are maintenance-free, able to support rapid charging and achieve impressive energy density.
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