Head-turning electric utes to spark mining industry’s sustainability goals

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
3 Min Read

A new type of electric ute is set to charge onto Aussie mining sites later this year, designed exclusively to outrun the toughest of Aussie environments. 

Electric adventure vehicle manufacturer Rivian Automotive teamed up with Aussie electric vehicle mining supplier MEVCO (Mining Electric Vehicle Company) to design the hybrid workhorse built specifically to exceed the requirements of the most demanding Australian mine operations. 

Using the head-turning Rivian R1T as the base model, MEVCO has then revved up the ute to unique Australian mining specifications, which will allow it to operate in the harshest of conditions in both surface and underground mines. 

EV Ute
The MEVCO-adapted Rivian R1T has been geared up to handle mining environments.

MEVCO will also support mining operators to ensure they have sufficient charging infrastructure, maintenance and workflows to handle the electric light fleets. 

The environmentally positive collaboration comes as the mining industry looks to move up a gear in its efforts to turbo-boost sustainability and efficiency. 

MEVCO CEO Matt Cahir says Rivian’s ambition to push the accelerator on technological advancements made them the perfect partner to ram past the roadblocks often found by the mining industry. 

“The Rivian R1T is widely acclaimed for its on and off-road capabilities, and its robust design and adaptability make it the ideal candidate to meet the many challenges mining presents,” Mr Cahir said.

“The integration of Rivian’s technology with MEVCO’s proven track record in mining-specific electric vehicles is poised to yield a fleet that exceeds the requirements of the most demanding operators.”

“We have already seen strong support for the Rivian product, as well as the infrastructure MEVCO is building to support the rollout.”

The EV has already picked up a number of off-road safety awards.

The introduction of electric vehicle light fleets onto Aussie mines will do more than shift environmental and financial benefits, with several safety upgrades also happening as a result of the switch.

Subterranean mine settings will benefit from the elimination of tailpipe emissions in the enclosed spaces, meanwhile the the R1T1s off road capabilities saw it pick up the Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Dagan Mishoulam, Rivian’s VP of Strategy, Dagan Mishoulam says driving on to Aussie mines will allow the american vehicle manufacturer to better establish itself in the Aussie market. 

“Our fleet offering is better known for our commercial vans, so it’s great to see our R1 vehicles being incorporated into MEVCO’s fleet. We’re delighted they are electrifying  their fleet with us, and we’re excited to help them reduce tailpipe emissions.”

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.