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Pictured L-R: Tim Wylie, Ampcontrol Chief Technology Officer and Nick McIntyre, Thiess Health & Safety Manager with Health Excellence award at NSW Mining HSEC Awards on Monday 7 August 2023 at Rydges Resort Hunter Valley

DRIFTEX, a certified Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) specifically designed for underground mining applications, designed and developed by Ampcontrol in collaboration with ResTech and Solitech has been awarded for Health Excellence at the NSW Mining HSEC Awards.

The development of DRIFTEX was in response to growing and immediate industry demand for low emissions technology and to remove Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) which is classified as a Group 2A carcinogen from underground applications. Its primary benefit lies in its ability to replace diesel-powered vehicles with an alternate power source, offering significant potential for industry-wide health and environmental improvements.

Tim Wylie, Ampcontrol Chief Technology Officer accepted the award on behalf of Ampcontrol at the awards ceremony held at Rydges Resort Hunter Valley, Lovedale NSW on Monday 7 August 2023.  

“Innovation is in our DNA. We work very closely with our customers to see what their needs are and what problems we may be able to help them solve which is how DRIFTEX came into development. At Ampcontrol we’re proud to be part of initiatives that pave the way in advancing the energy sector and helping our mining customers decarbonise. It’s an honour to have the work of our people awarded by NSW Mining,” says Rod Henderson, Ampcontrol Managing Director & CEO.

Through a collaboration with Solitech, The University of Newcastle and ResTech, DRIFTEX incorporates a 60kWh intrinsically safe battery management system with a long cycle life of 20,000-30,000 cycles, allowing for approximately ten years of operation with 80% battery life remaining. Notably, DRIFTEX is the first commercially available and certified explosion-protected BEV for underground mines.

DRIFTEX seamlessly integrates with standard EV chargers and can also be supplied with purpose-built chargers. Its cooling system enables fast-charging capabilities, allowing for a full battery charge in 10 minutes using high-powered DC fast chargers.

According to Australian Mining Regulations and Standards, the vehicle is approved as Explosion Protected and features multicolour intrinsically safe headlights. It also incorporates IoT connectivity to enhance operation, maintenance, and fault finding. DRIFTEX is equipped with two 100kW motors, providing a combined output torque of 1500 Nm.

“The beauty of DRIFTEX can be seen in how it can support the reduction of site environmental emissions, contributing to improvements in the social license of the mine. Through our strong partnerships and advanced technologies, we’re working to revolutionise industry and make global net zero a reality,” says Mr Henderson.