First Mode is establishing a proving grounds between Seattle and Portland to test and optimize giant zero-emission hauling trucks and the hydrogen-based infrastructure they’ll depend on.
The Seattle-based engineering venture says its leased facility at the TransAlta Centralia Mine, 85 miles south of Seattle, will include 7,500 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of outdoor yard space. “We plan to expand our footprint and activities in the future,” First Mode said in an emailed statement.
First Mode’s first job in Centralia will be to bring in a fleet of Komatsu 930E-4 ultra-class haul trucks and retrofit them with hybrid battery and hydrogen fuel cell power plants. Such conversions follow the model set in May, when the Anglo American mining company successfully deployed a proof-of-concept hybrid haul truck at its Mogalakwena mine in South Africa. First Mode developed the hybrid power plant for that truck, the world’s largest zero-emission vehicle.
“The First Mode Proving Grounds in Centralia is a critical next step in our mission to help heavy industry eliminate diesel and transition to clean energy,” First Mode CEO Chris Voorhees said today in a news release. “The site will support both the optimization of ultra-class haul trucks and the full infrastructure associated with diesel-free mobility and the production and distribution of clean energy.”