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Hindustan Zinc to infuse USD one billion to replace diesel vehicles with battery EVs

Friday, 30 Jul 2021
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Hindustan Zinc will make an investment of around USD one billion (around Rs 7,440 crore) to replace diesel-run vehicles and equipment with battery electric vehicles across its eight mines in the next five years. 
The company, which has signed an agreement with Finnish technology firm Normet Group Oy to introduce front line battery-powered service equipment in underground mining, will deploy three of Normet SmartDrive EVs – Spraymec, Agitator and Charmec-- in their underground mines in Phase-I. 
The company has a timeline of next five years of replacing all current equipment as and when the replacements are due. 
Then it will be replaced by battery operated equipment, so that in five to six years’ time mines will be free from diesel operated equipment. 
Earlier in 2021, Hindustan Zinc had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Epiroc Rock Drills AB to introduce another fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in their underground mines for production equipment. The partnership with Normet is for support equipment. 
So, the two companies together will complete one mining operation section of a mine. The company has eight mines. 
The Normet SmartDrive EV will help it in saving a huge amount in high speed diesel (HSD) and its maintenance. By substituting the HSD vehicles with Normet SmartDrive battery operated vehicles, around three lakh ltr of HSD can be saved per vehicle. 
In total, by substituting three SmartDrive EVs for HSD vehicles, almost 10 lakh ltr of fuel can be saved. 
Normet SmartDrive is a modular BEV architecture designed to optimise energy consumption and performance in underground mining and tunnelling applications. 
The SmartDrive equipment enables higher productivity, lower operating costs and zero local emissions. With in-built energy recuperation technology, it maximises the storing of regenerative braking energy during downhill driving and deceleration. 
Diesel vehicles and equipment in the mines generate a lot of heat, fumes and carbon dioxide requiring constant supply of oxygen. Replacing these with battery operated EVs, HZL will be able to save on maintenance costs, total cost of ownership, besides making the mine environment superior.
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