Battery-driven mining vehicle solution provider Battery Power Industries (BPI) officially launched on Wednesday.
The South African original-equipment manufacturer specialises in the development of battery energy systems, electrical traction systems and high-speed charging systems for underground mining equipment.
All of BPI’s products are designed by local engineers and manufactured in South Africa for the South African mining industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise in electronic, electrical and mechanical systems engineering to meet mining industry challenges.
“Through the implementation of the latest battery technology, BPI provides solutions to enhance the efficiency, sustainability and safety of mining operations,” BPI stated in a release.
BPI has its origins within local consulting engineering firm, Thuthukani Engineering Solutions. During the last five years, electrical systems engineer Calvin Coetzee has worked with key partners to develop advanced electric drive systems for mining vehicles, as well as battery and charging systems.
This has led to the commercial roll-out of electric hauler systems, electric personnel carriers and electric low-profile load haul and dump machines.
“The advent of these patented electric vehicle (EV) and battery system designs, developed by the team at Thuthukani, captured the attention of the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, which provided BPI with a working capital facility to fund further commercialisation, research and development (R&D) and potential future manufacturing capabilities,” the company noted.
BPI is still in the process of securing additional R&D funding.
BPI’s offering will comprise the integration and supply of EV traction systems, battery-powered mining vehicles, zero emissions technologies, EV lithium battery systems and charging systems.
Its capabilities include the design, manufacture and integration of all necessary components for a full electrical traction system and related charging infrastructure. This includes the careful consideration and integration of all auxiliary systems and battery storage units, including traction, cooling, electrical management and distribution systems.
“Our designs are able to outperform traditional diesel-fueled vehicles on the market through their ability to eliminate diesel particulate emissions and achieve considerable energy cost savings and lower overall machine costs,” said Coetzee.
He added that the company aims to remove all greenhouse-gas emitting and harmful equipment from use in mining operations as part of its approach to sustainable mining. “This approach applies innovative thinking and cutting-edge technologies to address mining’s major challenges.”
Coetzee stated that the maintenance requirement on an electrical system is half that of traditional diesel-powered machines.
Additionally, “our systems allow for existing underground infrastructure to be used in order to charge and service this form of equipment [and] address some of the mining industry’s biggest challenges – productivity, costs, fatigue and safety.”