BHP, Toyota Australia announce new Light Electric Vehicle trial

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BHP has partnered with Toyota Australia to trial a new Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) at its Nickel West operations.

The small-scale trial involves a LandCruiser 70 Series single-cab ute that has been converted to a battery-electric vehicle by Toyota Australia’s Product Planning and Development division in Port Melbourne.

The converted vehicle, which will operate under full battery power and will not require any fuel to run, is expected to fulfil several roles at site and operate in above ground and underground settings.

Edgar Basto, President, Minerals Australia, BHP said the partnership with Toyota Australia marked another milestone in the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce the emissions intensity of its light vehicle fleet, building on BHP’s trials with other suppliers currently ongoing at Olympic Dam in South Australia and Broadmeadow in Queensland.

“This partnership is another step in our ongoing studies into how we can reduce the emissions intensity of our light vehicle fleet,” Mr Basto said.

“It builds on other LEV trials underway in South Australia and Queensland. Reducing our reliance on diesel at our operations will help achieve our medium-term target of reducing operational emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.”

Toyota Australia’s President and CEO, Matthew Callachor said the trial was a testament to the company’s ongoing commitment to achieving a zero emissions future.

“BHP and Toyota have demonstrated a strong relationship throughout the last 20 years, and this project is a great testament to how we can both work together as leading companies in our respective industries to change the future,” Mr Callachor added.

Eddy Haegel, Asset President, Nickel West, BHP said the project is expected to deliver a reduction in fuel and maintenance costs, in addition to a reduction in noise, heat, and diesel particulate matter.

“The battery in the Toyota EV Landcruiser also contains a high proportion of nickel,” Mr Haegel noted.

“With Nickel West being both a battery raw material producer and consumer in the electric vehicle market, it is a terrific opportunity to support Toyota with their understanding and development of electric vehicles for the mining industry, whilst also reducing the carbon footprint from our own nickel operations.”

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