Drivetrain has begun supplying Kovatera’s latest utility vehicle, the KT200e, to cater to a growing demand for long-lasting, sustainable equipment in underground mining.
Based on 13 years of development since the Kovatera UT99 diesel version was released, the KT200e can be trusted to last for up to 10 years in mining conditions.
Kovatera general manager Will Gove told Australian Mining how the vehicle manufacturer achieved such longevity in the KT200e.
“It’s in the design of the machine. One example would be our use of heavy-duty off-highway axles where the brakes are enclosed, whereas a traditional on-highway vehicle has them exposed,” Gove said.
“Another example would be the chassis design. A traditional rolled chassis can allow water to get inside to rust the vehicle from the inside out. Our chassis is a fabricated-steel chassis with a flat plate. So, the backbone of the machine is exceptionally strong.
“Thirdly, the standard thickness of automotive-style vehicle body panels is about 0.9 millimetres. On our vehicle it’s about two millimetres, about twice the thickness.”
The KT200e comes in a standard 88-kilowatt-hour option, however the 44-kilowatt-hour option caters to smaller mines and shorter-range requirements.
Canada-based Kovatera has tested the KT200e in the North American country’s mines and has now found an opening into the Australian mining industry.
Drivetrain general manager for sales and business development Mark Griffith said Kovatera aligns well with where the Australian mining industry is moving.
“Drivetrain is an established supplier to the mining industry, particularly to underground mining,” Griffith said.
“We provide maintenance solutions across most underground mines in Australia in some fashion. That allows us to assess their conditions and pick products from our international suppliers which meet their needs and drive better asset management for sustainability in their operations.”
Drivetrain business development manager of capital equipment sales Joel Mathews said no production was sacrificed for the electrification of this vehicle.
“One additional item which makes the vehicle quite unique is the payload capacity, as traditional units in the market offer around half of what the KT200e does. It’s quite a workhorse for a small truck,” Mathews said.
“We have seen an influx of opposition companies starting to enter this market, but the difference is these products are still in their research and development stages.
“They haven’t put in the time or experience operating underground. Plus, Kovatera has the production capability. If a customer comes to us and says, ‘I love these machines, can I have 20 of them this year?’ We can say, yes you can, and we can do it with confidence.”