CNN — Standing three stories tall and weighing 500 metric tons fully loaded, a typical mining haul truck is one of the largest vehicles on the planet.
It also happens to be major emissions contributor in a pollution-heavy sector. According to consulting firm McKinsey, the mining industry annually contributes up to 7% of the world’s carbon emissions. Roughly 50% of that comes from the haulage trucks, which are used to transport heavy rocks between different sites, says David Gerhardt, principal systems engineer for First Mode, a Seattle-based clean energy company.
That’s why First Mode is designing a zero-emission solution to replace the truck’s diesel engine. To do so, it is looking to one of the most abundant natural resources in the world: hydrogen.
After starting the project in 2019, the company says it has created the world’s largest mobile hydrogen power plant – a hybrid that integrates hydrogen fuel cells with battery power.
In order to power a vehicle of this size, the power plant has to generate two megawatts of electricity each second, which is enough energy to power 1,500 American homes.