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Electric Land Cruiser joins Australian mining fleet

by Ben Hsu

The e-Cruiser is undergoing testing at one of the world\'s largest mining companies.

An Australian company has converted a Toyota Land Cruiser to pure electric power. The rugged EV will be put to work at one the world's largest mining companies.

The e-Cruiser is based on the 70-series Land Cruiser, which is not sold in the US but has been a constant part of the automotive landscape in most other parts of the world since it introduction in 1984. Built mainly as a workhorse, it lacks the luxury-laden interior of the Land Cruiser sold in the US market, and comes in both SUV, 2-door, and pickup form.

Mining company BHP commissioned EV conversion company Voltra to turn the Land Cruiser's drivetrain from a 4.5-liter diesel V8 into a battery power. The Cruiser keeps its four-wheel-drive abilities, and its lithium-ion batteries can be recharged via regenerative braking.

According to InsideEVs, the goal of the pilot program is to reduce air pollution, especially diesel emissions, inside the mine's confined spaces. The prototype is under evaluation as BHP tests factors such as performance, durability, charging times, and even corrosion resistance. If the tests go well, BHP believes that the switch to fully electric Land Cruisers could reduce fleet costs by 10 to 20 percent.

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