back to article GM, Komatsu partner to build hydrogen-powered monster mining truck

Automaker General Motors and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu have partnered to turn one of the world's largest trucks into an emissions-free, hydrogen-powered behemoth. Komatsu's 930E – able to haul a whopping 320 short tons (290 metric tons) – currently ships with a diesel-fueled 3,500HP engine capable of reaching …

  1. gecho

    Platinum

    And you thought it was bad when the thieves were just stealing your catalytic converter for the platinum. 20g of platinum in each cube compared to 5g in a catalytic converter.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Platinum

      So 2MW/77kW is about 26 cubes. If there's 20g of platinum per, that's over half a kilo of platinum.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Platinum

      Well good luck to someone trying to remove that and haul it away without bringing some heavy equipment of their own. Based on the size reference diagram it probably weighs at least a ton.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Platinum

        Well, they are all attached to a system with wheels and it's own power source. Just steal the truck.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Platinum

          You won't get far. Those trucks can't drive on normal roads. They are far too wide and far too heavy for the first bridge crossing you reach. Plus you can only drive as far as the available hydrogen in the tank since you can't exactly fill it up yourself!

          1. Sudosu Bronze badge

            Re: Platinum

            They are so big you need a Buggy Whip on your "big" pickup truck so that they know you are there and don't inadvertently squish said pickup truck (and any occupants) into the ground and continue on their merry way, blissfully unaware of anything extraordinary occurring.

            1. DS999 Silver badge

              Re: Platinum

              Hey Jerry, I think we squashed another moose!

              1. David 132 Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Platinum

                “What was that? A bug? A rabbit?”

                “Nah, a Passat.”

      2. Sudosu Bronze badge

        Re: Platinum

        I think the friendly term used at the mines for something that large was "rugged" (aka. requiring a crane to move)

  2. HuBo
    Thumb Up

    Love it!

    I hope Caterpillar and others follow suit!

    (see the world's biggest trucks here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/4018039/the-top-10-biggest-trucks-in-the-world-longer-than-a-swimming-pool-bigger-than-a-family-home-with-11000bhp/ , Komatsu's 930E is #9)

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

    Excuse me while I wipe the greenwash from my coat.

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

      Most mines would have those trucks hauling something else something else like iron ore, bauxite, copper ore, gravel etc. Coal is a minority of mining these days, and shrinking every year.

      Now obviously something has to produce that hydrogen, so unless they built a hydroelectric dam on the river next door or set up a giant array of solar panels on the land they've already mined I'm not sure why using fossil fuel to make hydrogen is better than having the truck burn the fossil fuel directly.

      Though come to think of it, if it WAS a coal mine it might make sense burning coal to make hydrogen - that's got to be more efficient than bringing in tanker loads of diesel to run all the equipment...

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

        oh yes i forgot how green flooding and basically destroying an eco system that spans hundreds of kms is...

        1. Filippo Silver badge

          Re: Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

          Well, yes, but by that metric the only "green" choice is to reduce consumption. You can't really make harmless power in an absolute sense. I'm all for reducing consumption, but that comes with its own tradeoffs.

        2. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

          oh yes i forgot how green flooding and basically destroying an eco system that spans hundreds of kms is

          If you're mining you're already destroying the local ecosystem (though if they do mitigation by saving the topsoil and restoring everything it is less bad in the long run)

          Mining that uses a lot of water, like gold mining, is already damming or diverting rivers to create settling ponds and so forth. If you're capturing power along with that activity it isn't making things actively worse, though if the topography doesn't allow for it you can't generate sufficient power so it probably isn't feasible for generating enough hydrogen except in limited circumstances. That (land area you control) is going to be your real limitation, since you can't flood land owned by adjacent claimholders or farmers or whatever.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

            It does make things worse.

            THe real good thing to do is avoid the activities in the first place. By making excuses you are removing the barrier to shameful activity in the first place.

      2. Lurko

        Re: Green trucks to carry coal and energy dependant minerals

        "Coal is a minority of mining these days, and shrinking every year."

        Coal has almost always been a (large) minority of mining simply because of the relationship with iron ore volumes. And demand is not shrinking - global demand for both thermal and metallurgical coal is higher in 2023 than in any prior year, and forecast by credible sources to keep growing as far as 2030.

        Anybody hugging themselves, droollng over the BBC's coverage of COP28 and celebrating the death of coal simply isn't paying attention. Most of it is going to China who continue to commission roughly one new large coal power station a week, or to India, where plans are afoot to triple the output of locally deep mined coal.

  4. munnoch Bronze badge

    Maybe they're mining platinum...

  5. John 62

    why not burn hydrogen instead of diesel in almost same power unit?

    Hydrogen fuel cells are cool and all, but wouldn't they be better modifying the diesel engine to burn hydrogen?

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: why not burn hydrogen instead of diesel in almost same power unit?

      Not an expert but I understand that H2 isn't an obvious fuel for combustion outside rocket engines: its reasonably high energy per mass is bugger all per volume once it's not liquefied. It burns hot so that air combustion is likely to produce NOx and it degrades some of the metals it comes into contact with.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: why not burn hydrogen instead of diesel in almost same power unit?

      “ a diesel ICE cannot run on hydrogen alone. Diesel ICEs operate on a compression-ignition cycle, and thus, feature no spark plugs. Whereas, hydrogen ICEs operate on a spark-ignition, and as such, require spark plugs to ignite fuel. ”

      [ https://www.cummins.com/news/2023/06/09/can-engine-run-hydrogen#:~:text=No.,spark%20plugs%20to%20ignite%20fuel. ]

  6. Kev99 Silver badge

    I guess GM decided to again give its former Terex (Euclid) off road truck company the heave ho again.

  7. Abominator

    JCB doing the same.

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