The paper sets out to consolidate relevant learning from South Africa’s two electric heavy haul operations, and relate it to practices in two significant heavy hauling countries, the US as font of heavy haul, and China that has established a significant presence in heavy haul. In comparing the present dominant diesel heavy haul with electric heavy haul, it is evident that the latter can offer sustainability through open system interaction with its environment. However, electric heavy haul solutions are still divergent, contrary to what one would expect in a globalized industry. Reviewing prospects for consideration leads to a main conclusion that future heavy haul electrification should rest on an open system approach within a smart total energy management paradigm.

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