Australia's latest battery electric utility vehicle hits the track

New technology launched with support from Industry Growth Centre

A new electric vehicle is promising a revolution for mining operations. It is a purpose-built battery electric utility vehicle developed in Australia for the mining industry and it offers a significant increase in sustainability and durability compared to the existing options.

The innovative new ute is the result of national and international collaboration, with Perth and Bendigo based Safescape, 3ME Technology from Newcastle and Agrale from Brazil partnering to respond to a significant industry need.

3ME Technology CEO Justin Bain says a vehicle of this nature is sorely needed in the Australian mining landscape.

"Vehicles used in underground Australian mining operations have faced issues of corrosion, durability and emissions for a long time - there is a sore need for a better solution.

"The Bortana EV was developed for the harsh environments of Australian minesites and we're really excited to see this vechicle in action. We have focused on achieving the highest levels of safety and compliance whilst delivering superior performance and efficiency. "

The application of battery electric vehicles in underground mining provides several key benefits over traditional diesel-powered engines.

The new vehicles produce minimal heat, minimal noise and most importantly no diesel particulate matter (DPM) exposure for workers within confined spaces. This also means reduced costs in ventilation and maintenance for mine operators.

The vehicles are also future-proofed; equipped for integration with current autonomous and future

artificial intelligence developments.

The project was funded in part by METS Ignited-the Industry Growth Centre for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector-which provided $500,000 under its Collaborative Project Funds in 2018.

METS Ignited General Manager Industry Engagement Peter Clarke says he's pleased to see the industry progressing towards more sustainable mining practices.

"We are pleased to support 3ME Technology and Safescape in developing a great solution for Australian mining operations. The safety benefits and cost savings achieved by implementing these vehicles onsite will make a significant difference for miners," says Clarke.

"This is a great example of how funding and support for collaboration pays off for the sector."

The prototype BORTANA EV will now go to a gold mine on a three month trial before further exposure to other mining companies and contractors.