The mining industry is a cornerstone of Australia’s steadfast economy, hauling in over AUD$200 billion dollars in estimated value in 2019 but for all the commercial and employment benefits, it is also Australia’s second-largest contributor of carbon gas emissions. (DCCEEW, 2019)

Electric Power Conversions Australia (EPCA) was founded in 2021 with the vision of providing a practical solution to the growing environmental impact of the Australian mining industry. Founded by the lead engineer of the world’s first Hydrogen-Electric hybrid mining truck, EPCA focuses its attention on the development of fully-electric battery conversions as a practical industrial application of zero-emission mining vehicles.

Electrifying the mining industry

EPCA provides world-class electrification solutions in Western Australia with a multi-disciplinary team of expert engineers and tradespeople. We take existing diesel-powered mining vehicles and convert them into Battery Electric Trucks (BETs).

Our process includes the initial planning, disassembly of existing internal combustion engine and related components, and retrofitting with fully electric battery-powered systems, and providing a DC charging system tailored for the vehicle.

By converting existing mining vehicles into fully electric systems, clients can expect significant annual savings with a vast reduction in maintenance costs and the eliminated requirement to burn through thousands of litres of expensive diesel fuel.

On average, clients could expect savings of approximately $703k p.a. in combined OpEx / CapEx / maintenance costs per vehicle. For a fleet size of 650 vehicles, this would equate to a reduction of AUD$0.5 billion in costs with a carbon emissions reduction of 1.1mil tonnes!

A force for the future

EPCA is proudly Aboriginal owned and operated by Clayton Franklin, a Wunumara man from Cloncurry, Queensland. Growing up on his father’s banana farm in North Queensland, Clayton developed a strong connection to Country and from a young age was inventing new technologies to assist with the farm including steam weeders, flame weeders and walk-around mowers to name a few. Along with his father Maurice, a mechanical engineer, the farm’s petrol-driven 4-wheeler was electrified and to this day, is running on a battery that achieves greater speeds and true net zero emissions thanks to the farm’s solar PV system.

It was these connections that drove him through his studies and led him to a successful career in mining and construction in WA  which has spanned nearly 25 years since 1997. Clayton has become a recognised name in the new technology space, guiding the development of the world’s first Hydrogen powered mining vehicle as the lead engineer in 2021. He now resides in Perth along with his wife and three children.

Through EPCA, Clayton is realising his vision to become a significant driving force in the reduction of the mining industry’s carbon footprint and protect his native land of Australia where future generations will continue to benefit from his efforts. The challenge is a big one, but all it takes is to upgrade one vehicle at a time.

In the heart of global mining

EPCA is strategically placed with a finger on the pulse of the mining industry, providing class-leading solutions from their Hazelmere workshop in Western Australia.

Western Australia is a central pillar of the global mining industry, with approximately one-third of Australia’s 350+ operating mine sites located here in WA. Australia itself is the fourth largest mining country in the world (behind China, the United States, and Russia); the largest producer of Lithium, Uranium and Coal; as well as a Top-5 producer of Gold, Iron Ore, Lead, Zinc and Nickel. With increasing political, social and ethical pressures towards renewable energy and reductions in carbon emissions, the demand for high-tech environmentally-friendly mining equipment is greater than ever.

Currently, all projects are designed, constructed and installed on-premises with ample space to house road trains and up to 100-tonne mining trucks. Over the next 5 years, EPCA ultimately aims to deliver electrical conversion kits worldwide, for any surface mining equipment, and be installed independently by clients’ own local qualified personnel.

Clayton Franklin

Founder and owner of EPCA, Clayton Franklin is a TÜV Certified Electrical Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in mining and construction.

Clayton completed his Bachelors Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering with Honours in 1997 and has carried electrical engineering for major Australian mining companies ever since. While skilled in Electrical Design, Project Implementation, Process Control, Control Systems Design and Functional Safety (TUV certified Engineer), Clayton also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Curtin University.

He is a Wunumara man from Cloncurry, Queensland, born to an Indigenous mother (Carol Appo) and a European father (Maurice Franklin). His grandfather, Jack Hassen, attained the Australian Lightweight boxing title in 1949, and was also an elder of the Kaldadoon mob. He grew up on his father’s organic banana farm and from a young age was inventing new technologies to assist the farm. Together with his father who is a mechanical engineer, they electrified a petrol-driven 4-wheeler which still runs to this day and achieves true net zero emissions with the vehicle charged by the farm’s solar PV system.

Clayton is immensely proud of his heritage and is a strong advocate for his community, dedicating much of his career supporting rural communities. In 2004, Clayton joined Bushlight which supplied renewables, predominately in the form of solar coupled with batteries and generator backup, to remote Aboriginal communities. Clayton was solely responsible for the design and product improvements and carried out a multi-disciplinary role. Bushlight installed over 140 systems into remote Aboriginal communities from Kununurra to Cairns and in 2006, won the Engineers Excellence Award for Australia.

Recently Clayton was the lead engineer on a 220-tonne Hydrogen-battery hybrid mining truck and also for a D65 Epiroc drill rig that was electrified.

Clayton founded EPCA in 2021 alongside three engineering specialists with the overall goal of providing diesel to electric conversions for mining equipment supplied in kit form, for changeout anywhere in the world.