Meet the E-Dumper. With a weight clocking in at 45 tons and an electric storage capacity equivalent to as much as eight Tesla Model S cars (700kWh), the electric dump truck—still under construction using a disassembled Komatsu truck—will be the largest electric vehicle in the world. The tires are taller than most humans (6-foot-6) and just getting into the driver’s seat means climbing a set of nine stairs. But with impressive size comes impressive capabilities.
The E-Dumper isn’t just for show. It was built by a consortium of Swiss companies to carry loads of 65 tons (that’s right, more than its own weight) up and down steep slopes. The vehicle will spend the next decade carting massive amounts of rocks from the ridge of the Chasseral mountain to a cement works near Biel. This is the first truck of its kind to be able to tackle inclines of up to 13 percent in harsh conditions.
The coolest part? Its power. As the truck runs down the steep mountain, its electric engine harvests energy from the descent, recharging its batteries and, if projections are accurate, producing a surplus of power that can be fed back into the grid.