The foundation for the relationship between WAE and Liebherr was laid in March 2022, when Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) acquired WAE as part of FMG’s journey to becoming an international renewable resource company. In November 2020 Andrew Forrest—the founder of FMG—announced that his company would wholeheartedly support the development of zero emissions technology through the development of its new green energy enterprise, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).
As part of FMG, WAE—an industry leader in the electrification and energy storage sectors—is working closely with FFI to support their passion for zero emissions and continue WAE’s outstanding work in battery technology.
In June 2022—shortly after FMG’s acquisition of WAE—FMG and Liebherr announced they were forming a partnership, with the intention of developing and supplying green mining trucks as a step toward decarbonizing the mining sector. Key to this partnership is Liebherr’s ability to work in conjunction with WAE and FFI to develop electric battery and fuel cell systems that will be integrated into Liebherr’s T 264 mining trucks. WAE’s extensive expertise in developing energy storage solutions for a wide range of sectors—including the automotive, aerospace, defense, and off-highway vehicle industries—will be crucial in ensuring that this project is a success.
“This partnership will enable customers, including FMG, to move towards net zero emissions through delivery and management of drive solutions across the complete product lifecycle,” Dave Rawlins, head of engineering technology for WAE said.
Bryant Ward, managing director for Liebherr’s Newport News haul truck facility, also spoke about the partnership between WAE and Liebherr, in particular the comradery between the two and the wider benefits of this partnership. “Liebherr working with WAE helps to rapidly expand our development capabilities and accelerate bringing products to market,” Ward said. “Also, bringing the electrical energy specialists together with the truck specialists enables us to produce a high-quality and high-performance product for the mining industry.”
Liebherr’s partnership with both WAE and FMG became a key part of Liebherr’s Zero Emission Mining Program. Liebherr’s trolley trucks and electric mining excavators already provide low and zero-emission solutions for customers. However, Liebherr is continuing to work within the Zero Emission Mining Program so that they can provide complete mining solutions for dozing, loading, and hauling—free of fossil fuels—by 2030.
Liebherr says that working with Tier 1 companies like WAE and FMG will ensure that the deadline of 2030 is met and that these solutions will lead the industry in both technological innovation and cost efficiency.
Supply of the green mining trucks being developed by Liebherr, WAE, and FFI is expected to commence after the conclusion of a two-year joint development period between the three companies. There is already significant interest from other mining companies in the solutions that FFI, WAE, and Liebherr are developing. Once the initial field deliveries of the zero-emission T 264 trucks have been made to FMG, it is intended to offer these products to more customers.