SEA Electric, an Australian company specialising in the assembly and 100% electrification of commercial vehicles for a global market, today announced the first of its 8.5 tonne SEA 300-85 trucks to roll off its Melbourne production line.
The truck, with a 138 kWh battery driving a motor with 1,500 Nm torque, has been delivered to Mineral Resources (MRL), a mining services company that provides services to clients throughout Western Australia, and also operates iron ore, lithium and other mines in the Pilbara and Goldfields regions of the state.
MRL will use the SEA 300-85 to transport materials between mine sites, and this particular vehicle will serve as a flagship for the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint — that is, it will take pride of place at community events and roadshows.
“We’ve developed a transition plan to a low-carbon future and that includes reducing our reliance on diesel,” Mike Grey, MRL’s Chief Executive of Mining Services, said in a statement.
He added, “Our mission is to grow our mining services and operations responsibly,” and transport offers the company a low-hanging-fruit opportunity for reducing carbon emissions.
Transportation for mines comes clean
The SEA announcement comes just weeks after the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) invested $5 million in New South Wales Hunter Valley-based battery technology producer 3ME Technology which enables miners to swap out diesel engines with innovative modular battery electric systems.
Direct and indirect (from energy used to power operations) emissions from oil, gas, mining and metals processing industries in Australia contribute more than a quarter of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, which has led the CEFC to increase its focus on decarbonising Australia’s resources sector
CEO of the CEFC, Ian Learmonth, said earlier this month that, “The decarbonisation of Australia’s resources sector is critical to our clean energy transition and electrification has an important part to play.”
SEA Electric has been performing driveline swaps on existing internal combustion-engine powered trucks since 2017, and it says the move to become an Original Equipment Manufacturer, constructing vehicles “from new” on its new Melbourne production line will reduce the cost of its trucks, increase efficiencies, reduce waste and accelerate the speed of manufacture.
Electric trucks in all sizes
The SEA300-85 is one in a full range of pure electric truck models — from 4.5-tonne trucks that can be driven with a car licence, to 22.5-tonne three-axle rigid transporters — available through a network of 12 dealerships around Australia.
Founded in Australia, SEA Electric is now headquartered in Los Angeles in the US and supplies customers in the US, New Zealand, Thai, Indonesian and South African markets.
Less than a week ago it announced its largest ever order, for 1,150 SEA Hino M5 EVs, from GATR EV a division of GATR Truck Center which has five dealerships across the US states of Iowa and Minnesota.
GATR has a partnership with Merchants Fleet, a fast-growing US fleet-management company which has committed more than $2 billion towards electrifying 50% of its mobility fleet by 2025, and 50% of its clients’ fleets by 2030.
To meet such demand, GATR Truck Center is developing an e-commerce system that will sell purely electric vehicles and its strategic partnership with SEA Electric, said Jay Klemp, Director of Sales at GATR EV, means “we can build enough of these Hino trucks to provide demonstration vehicles and also solutions to our future fleet partners.”
Look, you guys, no incentives!
Nick Casas, SEA Electric Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said last week, “This is our first four-digit order and it comes in a non-incentive state, which proves that commercial EV solutions can expand in areas with no incentives”.
SEA Electric is in the process of replicating the production techniques it has developed in Australia for other global markets.
“Australian manufacturing and ingenuity is alive and well, said Bill Gillespie, President of SEA Electric in the Asia Pacific region.
”The response from the transport industry since the launch of our local volume production is heartening,” he added, saying the company hoped to pass many more milestones on the road to its stated mission, which is to eliminate more than a billion kilograms of CO2 emissions over the coming five years.
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