By Steve Fiscor, editor-in-chief, E&MJ

MUNICH, Germany—A lot of people turned up in Munich this week for bauma, the world’s largest equipment fair. The weather started off nice, which worked well for the heavy equipment displays in the outside portion of the show, but then it turned a little cold and damp, and that brought the crowds back inside.

The Mining Hall C2 was bustling with activity. Mining Media International (MMI) was the only mining-related publisher with a stand. Carly Leonida debuted as E&MJ’s European editor. She and I attended as many press conferences as physically possible and met with many other companies in between those events. You will read about what we learned soon.

The biggest noticeable trend was the continued push toward electrification for both underground and surface mining equipment. In the Mining Hall this year, there were five utility-class electric vehicles, pickup trucks, Landrovers, Jeeps, etc. Three years ago, there was one. Paus had its battery-powered MinCa on their stand.

As another example, Normet debuted its SPRAYMEC 8100 SD shotcreting machine. The SD stands for SmartDrive and it’s a fully electric, battery-operated machine, which the company has been developing since 2015. With the onboard charging system, it needs only 2.5 hours to recharge the batteries from 0 to 80%.

Outside on the main fairgrounds, Liebherr had its 9200 E electric shovel on its massive display. And, everywhere you turned, you saw fully autonomous, hybrid and battery-powered equipment.

Messe Muenchen hadn’t released the total attendance figures at the time of this writing. They were expecting 600,000 people. If the other halls were as crowded as the Mining Hall, they probably came close.