All-electric heavy truck challenges the Arctic climate


Kaunis Iron has formed a collaboration with Vattenfall, Volvo Trucks, ABB and Wist Last & Buss in a unique pilot project to develop a sustainable logistics system for the future.

It is a vision of Kaunis Iron to develop the world’s most sustainable iron ore. One of the biggest challenges in achieving that goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the heavy transports of the ore, that today take place via trucks in the first stage before trains take over.

A comprehensive study of different alternatives has led to a pilot test with fossil-free electrical power. Now a collaboration cluster has been started to put in place a pilot test on-site in Pajala, north of the Polar circle in Sweden.

Lars Wallgren, logistics manager, Kaunis Iron, said: “This type of challenge cannot be solved by any single stakeholder. Industrial innovation calls for collaboration between experts. It is therefore pleasing that we have managed to assemble such a strong team to challenge the Arctic climate with electrically powered heavy vehicles. It then becomes simply a challenge… As they say ‘those who walk in someone’s footsteps can never take the lead’. Here we are taking the lead, together. We periodically drive our heavy vehicles in extreme winter cold. If the technology works here, it will probably work everywhere.”

Maria Lindberg, Manager, Heavy Electrified Transport at Vattenfall said: “Our fossil-free electricity and services for charging infrastructure, where we install, operate and maintain charging functions, play a self-evident role in the development of electrified transport, and we are very pleased with this cooperation. Here, we have the opportunity to develop an aspect of fossil-free mining operations, a step towards achieving a fossil-free society and basic industry.”

Volvo Trucks is contributing with its own heavy truck, an all-electric Volvo FMX prototype, to evaluate how battery-electric trucks including charging systems function in Arctic conditions.

Ebba Bergbom Wallin, Commercial Electromobility Manager, Volvo Trucks Sweden, said: “It is very valuable to us to be able to develop our products in collaboration with our customers. Customer collaboration projects are important in our product development process. So it will be exciting to monitor and evaluate Kaunis Iron’s testing of our all-electric Volvo FMX in an Arctic environment. It will help us assess how battery-electric trucks can be used to increase efficiency and reduce climate impact in extremely cold conditions.”

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