Juniko Bondan

Chilean mining company deploys electric tanker

Jan. 23, 2024
SQM developed the country’s first fully electric semi-trailers in association with trailer manufacturer Randon and Suspensys, which supplied its e-Sys auxiliary traction technology

SQM, a Chilean mining company, recently deployed two electric tractor-trailers, including one with a fully electric tank trailer for transporting lithium brine.

The electric trailers were developed in partnership with Randon, which is the largest trailer manufacturer in Latin America, and Suspensys, which equipped the Hybrid R-line units with its e-Sys auxiliary traction technology. They’re the first electric trailer and tractor sets in operation in the country, the companies said.

“[This is] another delivery that confirms the potential for global transformation that this sustainable technology can offer to logistics and transportation,” Randoncorp CEO Sérgio L. Carvalho said in a news release. “We believe that cooperation and the construction of disruptive solutions are the way forward for the evolution of electromobility.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of this trajectory, together with strategic partners to execute this challenge.”

SQM, a leading producer of lithium, is using the vehicles, including an electric dump truck, in ore-extraction activities, helping it reduce fuel consumption and component wear by combining the two electric trailers with trucks powered by traditional internal combustion engines, the companies maintained. The partnership includes distributor Epysa and carrier Nazar, which is operating the all-electric sets.

The use of Randon’s trailers with e-Sys technology allows SQM to run some of the first 100% electric cargo transport sets in the world, the company said. And by using Hybrid R models, SQM also will enjoy a “significant” reduction in operating costs, Randon added.

The Hybrid R line’s exclusive electric auxiliary traction system recovers the energy generated during descent and braking movements, providing “complementary application” as an extra force in the traction of the set. This movement can generate up to 207 hp of additional power to contribute to traction on climbs and overtaking.