Electrification of the Mining Industry — CleanTech Talk with Ideanomics CEO Alf Poor

August 9th, 2020 by  

In this episode of our CleanTech Talk podcast interview series, Zach Shahan chats again with Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics, Inc., about the electrification of the mining industry, and the benefits of choosing electric for heavy-duty vehicles.

You can listen to the full conversation in the embedded player below. Below that embedded SoundCloud player is a brief summary of the topics covered, but tune into the podcast to follow the full discussion.

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Previously, we talked with Alf about the EV revolution and about 5G and the future of transport. In this podcast, we’re diving into something that isn’t talked about that much as part of the EV conversation — the electrification of the mining industry.

This podcast isn’t focused on the minerals needed for the EV revolution (which is also a hugely important topic, and something we’ve been thinking about a lot more), but rather on the large and site-specific heavy-duty equipment that’s needed at the mining sites. It’s actually a fascinating topic, and one that’s often hidden from view.

electrification of the mining industry

Image courtesy Ideanomics.

Alf explains that the heavy trucks of big industry — the ones we don’t often see working behind the scenes in seaports, shipping, steel industry, and mining — are “exponentially bigger” than what you seen on the road, making them particularly interesting for electrification.

Most vehicles of this sort are run on diesel, which is powerful but emits a huge amount of pollution. How huge, you might ask? Some of them get fuel economy as low as 1.5 miles per gallon. Because of the large loads and heavy weight, “an incredible amount of energy” is used for these vehicles.

Image courtesy Ideanomics.

Alf speaks on the podcast about a case study in Inner Mongolia, one of the the most pristine areas in the world — and one of the richest areas for mining. They partnered with the local government, local mining companies, heavy truck company BeiBen, and battery company CATL to see how they could tackle the problem of emissions from these vehicles.

Despite its large mineral and metal resources, Inner Mongolia hasn’t been expanding mining because of dire ecological consequences there from existing mining. What Ideanomics and partners found is that electrification of these fleets could reduce pollutants by 76%.

See the graphic below to see just how polluting these major vehicles are based on this study in Inner Mongolia.

Alf talks about how autonomous vehicles could help keep the mine running (and keep people safer). He also speaks about how battery swapping stations currently help to quickly and efficiently keep an electric fleet moving without having to wait for charging a huge battery.

Check out their video here about the battery swapping station:

To hear more on these really interesting topics, find out how we’ll get Zachary to Inner Mongolia … and learn about Alf’s dining experience with scorpions!

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About the Author

I’m a marketing and sales professional focused on mission-driven businesses, and currently I manage Sales and Partnerships for CleanTechnica. I’m also a journalist, green investor, wellness educator, surfer, and yogi. Find delicious food and wellness stuff on my Instagram @VibrantWellness.

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