LONDON, UK and SEATTLE, USA – May 9, 2023 – Global carbon reduction company First Mode and ABB (SIX:ABBN; NYSE:ABB) today announced a purchase order for ABB to supply First Mode with 80 BORDLINE® ESS lithium-ion battery systems. The batteries, which total 2.6 megawatt-hours, will help power the next several zero-emission mining haul trucks being developed by First Mode.
“The successful testing and operation of First Mode’s proof-of-concept truck proved that a combination of batteries and fuel cells to power heavy-duty vehicles is a viable alternative to diesel,” said Julian Soles, CEO of First Mode. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with ABB, which played an instrumental role in the proof-of-concept commissioning, as we scale production of our proprietary nuGen™ Haulage Solution and bring additional cost savings to our customers, all while maintaining an industry-leading safety program.”
The BORDLINE® ESS batteries will be assembled into larger battery packs and used in the construction of hybrid hydrogen and battery powerplants to power ultra-class haul trucks. The batteries will be used both to increase the peak power output available to the truck when ascending a grade, and to recover energy through regenerative braking when descending.
“The mining environment presents a unique combination of high-power charge and discharge, continuous operation, and significant thermal management challenges that are not found in many other applications,” said Krunal Desai, First Mode’s Director of Electrical Engineering. “Lithium titanate oxide based cells are an ideal fit for this application, with excellent power performance and inherent safety that meets our operational needs.”
The next-generation powerplants, refueling systems, and other infrastructure are being built and tested at First Mode’s engineering and development facilities in Seattle, Washington, USA, which include a 45,000-square-foot manufacturing facility slated to come online later this year. The systems will be demonstrated at First Mode’s Proving Grounds starting in early 2024.
“We are grateful for the continued partnership with First Mode in advancing clean energy solutions for the mining industry. ABB’s BORDLINE® energy storage systems play a crucial role in enabling sustainable, diesel-free operations in many transport industries,” said Edgar Keller, President of ABB’s Traction Division. “We are proud to work with First Mode in achieving their mission to eliminate diesel and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.”
“Our battery technology with high level of inherent safety, enhanced power charging capabilities and long lifetime is the right choise for this demanding application and enables a highly energy efficient mine operation,” said Beat Guggisberg, Head of ESS, ABB Traction Division.
ABB first partnered with First Mode in 2019 to supply battery chargers, motors, and drives for the world’s first two-megawatt hybrid hydrogen fuel cell and battery powerplant, designed and built by First Mode in Seattle, in partnership with Anglo American. ABB supplied a megawatt-scale DC-to-DC converter based on its BORDLINE®-series railway converters, as well as on-site engineering support for the proof-of-concept ultra-class haul truck that debuted May 6, 2022 at Anglo American’s platinum mine at Mogalakwena, South Africa.
About First Mode
First Mode is a global carbon reduction company developing creative, clean energy solutions for heavy industry’s toughest problems. We started by removing the diesel engine from a colossal mining truck and replacing it with a hybrid hydrogen and battery powerplant. A world-first, and the world’s largest. But we’re not stopping there. We are also working on providing critical mine site infrastructure for hydrogen production, battery recharging, and hydrogen refueling. Today, we’re starting at the source, the mining industry, and tomorrow the larger supply chain, to completely eliminate the use of diesel and speed the clean energy transition. www.firstmode.com
ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com
ABB Motion keeps the world turning – while saving energy every day. We innovate and push the boundaries of technology to enable the low-carbon future for customers, industries and societies. With our digitally enabled drives, motors and services our customers and partners achieve better performance, safety and reliability. We offer a combination of domain expertise and technology to deliver the optimum drive and motor solution for a wide range of applications in all industrial segments. Through our global presence we are always close to serve our customers. Building on over 130 years of cumulative experience in electric powertrains, we learn and improve every day.