Heavy-Duty BEV Trucks

Heavy-Duty BEV Trucks

A bulletproof BEV powertrain

MEDATech’s ALTDRIVE powertrain technology has been powering heavy-duty industrial equipment, notably in the mining sector, for over 10 years. We incorporate certified conflict mineral-free batteries that are over 90 per cent recyclable into our vehicles, helping organizations to lower CO2 emissions and environmental footprints while promoting health and safety throughout the value chain. 

ALTDRIVE powertrains are ideal for any kind of vocational truck fleet: municipal, quarry and other purposes. The suitability of battery-electric powertrains for heavy-duty truck use revolves around the vehicle’s intended duty cycle. That is, what task is it meant to perform day after day? 

Punishing work, short cycles

If you need a vehicle for long-haul trucking or light-duty deliveries around town, look to Tesla or Ford. If it’s hauling ore concentrate, clearing runways, short-run aggregate hauls or any other punishing task that involves an hour and a half or less per cycle, MEDATech has the answer. We build complete EV powertrains for OEMs manufacturing the heaviest-duty of vocational trucks, notably in mining, as well as for end users. 

One of those end users is Teck Resources. In 2021, Teck began its move to battery-electric hauling for its Highland Valley Copper mine fleet. They chose MEDATech ALTDRIVE to supply the first on-road 100 per cent battery-electric tractor trailer, a converted Western Star 4900 EX, for the pilot program. The truck is currently in operation at Highland Valley.

Batteries are expensive

The battery array required for heavy-duty industrial vehicles can cost upwards of $500,000. That’s why it’s so important to understand the intended work cycle of the vehicle. It’s the first thing that MEDATech takes into consideration when undertaking a vehicle & fleet electrification feasibility study. Our objective is to build the powertrain for the task, not all tasks. If you choose the one-size-fits-all option when building a vehicle, you have to overbuild. That means including extra battery ‘just in case’. That’s very expensive and, in our opinion, entirely unnecessary. 

A clear return on investment

Properly-designed battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) are much less expensive to run than diesel equipment. With fewer moving parts and regenerative braking, electric drivetrains require much less maintenance than diesels and are designed to last twice as long. In a lifetime-cost comparison, when used in an appropriate application, ALTDRIVE battery-electric clearly wins out over diesel in terms of fuel, maintenance, capital cost and CO2 tax credits. Ask us—we can show you the numbers. 

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Our technology, adapted for the task at hand

Our Western Star off-road 4900XD demonstration vehicle is fitted with a 100% electric MEDATech ALTDRIVE powertrain solution, including integrated on-board charging system. The powertrain components are sized for the task the truck was designed for: hauling rock, gravel or sand short-distances. 

The Western Star on-road 4900EX-e tractor, on the other hand, was purpose-built for a different haul cycle. The tractor trailer weighs 65,000kg loaded, 25,000kg unloaded, and completes the same four to five 95-kilometre highway roundtrips every workday. Unlike the off-road version, it has a two-speed gearbox, since it works within the mine site on steep grades, but also at highways speed on gentler grades. 

Since this truck’s batteries charge on the downhill haul through regenerative braking, the rig requires only a short battery recharge at the Ashcroft, B.C. rail terminal, delivering a haul cycle time that is the same as a conventional truck. The battery-electric powertrain is more efficient than a comparable diesel engine, outputting a constant 620kW (approximately 830 horsepower) and is configured to continuously output almost double the amount of torque of a conventional truck. 

MEDATech’s tried-and-true ALTDRIVE™ powertrain solution is the result of more than 10 years of development. ALTDRIVE powertrains can be found in mining-related vehicles all over North America. 

Heavy-duty BEV trucks

To find out more about the BEV powertrains we build, to better understand the life-of-mine cost benefits of going electric, or to discuss your particular equipment needs, please use the form below. We will be in touch shortly. 



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    Phone: +1 (705) 443-8440


    Collingwood ON., Canada

    Ocala FL., USA