Battery power as a solution for a fossil free heavy transport

Energikontor Norr has led a feasibility study on Sustainable transport looking at the possibility to implement fossil free alternatives for long and heavy transport. Read more about the results!

Since October 2019, Energikontor Norr has led a feasibility study on “Sustainable transport in the Arctic” together with Kaunis Iron, Volvo trucks, Wist Last & Buss and Vattenfall, looking closely at the possibility to implement fossil free alternatives for long and heavy transport from several perspectives. The study examined technology, economy, sustainability and implementation aspects. The project has been funded by the different participants, as well as by the Norrbotten Region.

Project Background

One of Kaunis Iron’s goal was to conduct a fossil free mining operation by 2025. An important factor regarding this matter related to transport. Indeed, even 15 minutes a truck carrying Iron leaves for a one mile trip to Pitkäjärvi. In Pitkäjärvi, the goods are then reloaded to rail for transport. Those elements, all together, can amount to a 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The ambition of Kaunis Iron was therefore to change its entiere fleet for a fossil free alternative.

Implementation and solutions

The feasibility study has shown that several alternatives can be found to fossil fuel. The project team compared those alternatives. They investigated the actual feasibility of those different solutions in order to see which are better adapted to the local context, that is a very specific one: the conditions can be demanding regarding the cold weather, the fact that it will be used in the heavy transport sector, and for long distances. The outcome came as a suprise as the solution that was initially seen as the most likely (Electric Vehicles with charging stations along the road) did not prove to be the most interesting alternative. The study showed instead that the development of batteries for heavy vehicles would be the most interesting option to explore.

Batteries are an attractive solution since it doesn’t require any investment in infrastructure along the roads, therefore allowing for the preservation of wildlife. There is also a greater flexibility regarding where the drivers can go. Moreover, electricity is produced in the Region which would allow for the development of a complete fossil free operation. This solution offers a great potential for quiter transport solutions and reduces the impact on climate change.

Six months ago, the assessment was that the alternative with batteries would not be viable in the context of heavy transport that Kaunis Iron’s activities require. However, the study allowed vehicle suppliers and other industry player to share their expertise. It showed that the technology is far ahead and that there is an actual potential in developing trucks entierely battery powered. The next steps now consist in technological development, especially regarding the implementation of more powerful and lighter batteries.


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Time frame :
2019 - 2020
Website :
Organisation Name Position Contact
Kaunis Iron Lars Wallgren Logistics Manager Kaunis Iron
Energikontor Norr Inger Edlund Pedersen Responsible project manager Energy office Norr
Kaunis Iron Andreas Lantto Project, Kaunis Iron