Williams working on electric power for supersized mining truck

Company also will supply batteries for new FIA Extreme E racing series

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Williams F1
Huge mining truck will be electric power developed by arm of the Williams Formule One racing team | Anglo American photo

You likely recognize Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited as the racing team founded in 1977 by Frank Williams and Patrick Head, finishing as runner-up to Ferrari for the 1978 Formula One championship, and later providing cars that carried Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve to the World Driving Championship.

The team became known for its innovations, and in 2010 founded Williams Advanced Engineering Limited to takes its expertise beyond the race track, from aerospace to energy and from defense to healthcare. The company now has partnered with Anglo American to create the world’s largest hydrogen-powered truck as part of the mining company’s FutureSmart sustainable mining effort.

Williams will develop what is being called the world’s “first high voltage battery system” for a fuel-cell electric vehicle “machine” and that lithium-ion battery will replace the huge mining vehicle’s diesel engine. Testing is expected to begin later this year, Williams and Anglo American said.

Anglo American has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

“Putting electrified vehicles into mines – from large haul trucks to passenger vehicles and employee buses – will help Anglo American reach these ambitious decarbonization targets,” the company said.

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Williams noted that is will apply learnings it has gathered as a result of its involvement in the Formula E global racing series. Williams also will be the sold battery supplier for the new FIA Extreme E racing series that launches in 2021.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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