Writing on the GE Global Research blog, Tim Richter an engineer in the conglomerate's hybrid vehicle team, said that the haul truck had been fitted with a hybrid system based on the same battery technology used in the hybrid locomotive the company demonstrated last year.
Haul trucks are huge dump trucks typically used to transport ore at open pit mines.
Richter said the new 600hp hybrid battery pack worked in much the same as a conventional hybrid car engine, capturing energy lost during brake to re use as the vehicle accelerates.
"When the driver calls for acceleration or power to climb a hill, the energy that was captured from the wheel motors during braking is released from the battery," he explained. "The energy is used to supplement the engine and reduce fuel usage or provide a power boost to increase speeds."
He added that the company plans to continue testing the new vehicle as it seeks to optimize the batteries and assess how reliable they prove in the harsh environment in which mine haul trucks operate.
Richter also predicted that the company can expect to see growing interest in hybrid technologies from a range of industries. "These technologies continue to gather interest and value against the continuing increase in fuel prices and price pressures on manufacturers and distributors," he observed.