First Mode, the clean-energy company that was recently transformed from a Seattle startup into an Anglo American subsidiary, is getting a boost from Washington state.
The Washington State Department of Commerce awarded $250,000 in economic development funding to the Economic Alliance of Lewis County to help First Mode with design and construction costs related to the company’s future facility in Centralia, Wash.
First Mode is planning to turn a former coal mine site, leased from TransAlta, into a proving grounds for its hydrogen-fueled hybrid powertrain for heavy mining trucks. The building plan calls for providing 7,500 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of outdoor yard space, with an option for expansion.
The powertrains have been under development at First Mode’s lab in Seattle, and last year a prototype truck made its debut at a platinum mine in South Africa.
Eventually, Anglo American plans to have First Mode convert hundreds of ultra-class haul trucks to run on hydrogen and battery power. The technology for the trucks and the fueling and charging infrastructure will be tested at the Centralia site.