Australian heavy-vehicle battery manufacturer, 3ME Technology Holdings (3ME Technology) today welcomed a $15 million capital investment from the $540 million Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF) – the first investment to date by ABGF. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has also backed 3ME Technology with a $5 million investment.

Based at Cardiff in NSW’s Hunter Region, 3ME Technology has developed a powerful, scalable, lithium-ion battery system to replace the diesel-powered engines used in large industrial vehicles in mining and defence. 3ME Technology’s pioneering BLADEVOLT® battery system has been successfully retrofitted into underground mining equipment.

3ME Technology Chief Executive Officer Justin Bain said: “3ME Technology is working with other Australian businesses to electrify the Australian mining industry’s heavy vehicle fleet. Our batteries’ advanced safety features and high performance are designed specifically for use in underground mining environments and can be retrofitted into a range of vehicles from small utilities to very large loaders.”

3ME Technology’s battery system incorporates novel safety features to prevent thermal runaway. Using cell-level monitoring and predictive analysis in real time, batteries can be shut down remotely if a cell isn’t performing within parameters. Battery-powered electric mining vehicles have the added advantage of zero diesel fumes, less heat and reduced noise which all contribute to a safer working environment.

“We are delighted to have the funding support of the ABGF and CEFC. This combined $20 million investment will allow us to increase our workforce, accelerate onshore manufacturing of our large-format batteries, and invest in expanding the battery system operations centre.

“In developing the BLADEVOLT® battery system our focus has been on building a sovereign capability in electric-powered heavy vehicles. With the challenge of meeting the very high safety and operating demands solved, we are ready to scale up production and help the mining sector deliver better performance with lower emissions”, Mr Bain said.