Irish company CoolPlanet has expanded its partnership to secure over 7000 electric Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series utes to Australian company Climatech Zero for use in local mines.

    The vehicles will be modified by German company Huber Automotive AG.

    Together, CoolPlanet and Climatech Zero are expected to sell 200 electric Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series utes to mining companies in Australia in 2024, another 1000 in 2025 and a further 6000 in 2026.

    The new agreement will see CoolPlanet licence its Autonomous Vehicle Operating System (AVOS) to Climatech Zero for use in Australia and New Zealand.

    CoolPlanet currently licences its CoolPlanetOS analytics, reporting, and decarbonisation system exclusively to Climatech Zero in the same region.

    Both systems will be built into the vehicles ahead of deliveries to Australia which are expected to start early in 2024.

    The ute, renamed the Mine Changer, will offer 120km of electric range and a 35kWh battery pack.

    According to Huber Automotive’s website, the vehicle offers 90kW of power, retains its four-wheel drive system and has type 2 charging capabilities allowing for a charging capacity of up to 22kW. It will take one and a half hours to charge the vehicle.

    According to CoolPlanet and Climatech Zero, 28 per cent of deaths that occur in Australian mines are related to vehicle incidents.

    The partnership is intended to reduce diesel particulate matter and maximise safety with CoolPlanet’s AVOS technology.

    “Mines will be able to eliminate diesel particulate matter and maximise vehicle safety, which is crucial considering mining vehicles account for 28% of all deaths in mining,” said CoolPlanet chairman Norman Crowley.

    “The partnership will also enable mines to maximise their energy resiliency and efficiency while minimising environmental impact.”

    “The extension of our partnership to the mining sector is exciting and another significant milestone in CoolPlanet’s commitment to driving sustainable solutions in industries that are traditionally energy-intensive.”

    CoolPlanet and Climatech Zero have worked together for “several years”. Climatech Zero is already supplying five Australian mining companies with “solutions” for decarbonising their operations and reducing their energy consumption.

    Earlier this year, local Australian company Zero Automotive announced it too will modify LandCruiser 70 Series utes to include electric powertrains, intended for use in mines.

    The announcement in early September 2023 came as the company had received an order of 200 of its second-generation ZED70 Ti single-cab ute from CarBon Leasing and Rentals.

    The ZED70 Ti has a 60kWh lithium titanate oxide (LTO) battery supplied by Toshiba. It can be charged at up to 22kW using AC power or 160kW using DC ultra-fast charging, the latter allowing for a charging time of less than 25 minutes.

    It has one electric motor which offers 200kW of power and 1200Nm of torque, with regenerative braking available to help top up the battery.

    In January 2023, SEA Electric signed a billion-dollar deal to convert 8500 Toyota HiLuxes and LandCruisers to electric power for the local mining industry by 2028.

    The electric mining vehicles will be delivered to MEVCO who has committed to ordering 8500 units over the next five years.

    MORE: Everything Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series
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    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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