The World’s Largest Electric Truck Needs Almost No Recharging

The world’s largest electric vehicle is a giant dump truck that relies almost exclusively on energy produced by its own braking system, requiring only minimal charging. Called the “eDumper,” the vehicle is a converted Komatsu 605-7 HD dump truck with a diesel engine that was replaced with an electric motor and giant battery. It was a joint venture between the Swiss company E-Mining and the University of Bern. Creating the largest and most powerful electric vehicle in the world took approximately 18 months to complete. The eDumper features the largest battery ever produced for an electric vehicle, weighing in at 4½ tons — about as heavy as two passenger cars. The truck itself weighs 58 tons when empty and can carry a payload of about 65 tons. It’s this incredible weight that allows the eDumper to generate its own power. When descending fully loaded, the eDumper generates energy via its brake disks and stores it in its giant battery instead of releasing it into the environment. The bigger the weight, the higher the brake energy generated. At its maximum 123 tons, it can generate enough energy to power itself back up the quarry slope. It is estimated that eDumper can transport over 300,000 tons of rock per year, which means that in 10 years it will have saved up 1,300 tons of CO2 and 132,806 gallons of diesel. Because the eDumper can’t generate 100% of the energy it uses every day — especially in the winter — it has to spend a short time on the charger every day. Although it’s not yet cost-effective to rely on electric dump trucks, the eDumper is proof that going electric is possible in the future.