Image from SQM.
The largest electric fleet in the Chilean mining industry has been unveiled in Antofagasta by SQM in partnership with transport companies Viggo GrandLeasing, Transportes CVU and Andes Motor, as part of their sustainability plans to reduce their CO2 emissions.
Consisting of 34 fully electric vehicles, the fleet includes passenger buses, minibuses, vans, mobile solar checkpoints, and Chile’s first high-tonnage electric truck, making it the most diverse electric fleet in use across an entire mining operation in Chile.
With the launch of the new fleet, SQM said it is on track to achieve carbon neutrality in all its products by 2040 and follows up from the company’s announcement at the end of 2021 that it was joining the UN’s Race to Zero program.
SQM had already introduced Chile’s first high-tonnage electric truck to be used in large-scale mining onto an 86-kilometer route from the company’s Coya Sur plant in María Elena to the port of Tocopilla, saving approximately 3,840 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The vehicles were presented on the esplanade of the Huanchaca Ruins in Antofagasta, at an event that was attended by regional and community leaders.
“As a company we are proud to launch this fleet, contributing to the development of national electromobility and promoting the use of electric vehicles in the north of Chile, covering the regions of Antofagasta and Tarapacá, focusing on operational areas of our sites and on the transfer of all workers of SQM who live throughout the national territory,” said José Miguel Berguño, SQM VP, corporate services.
“It is one more step in our robust Sustainability Plan that reaffirms our commitment to the environment, the communities surrounding our operations, and the environment.”