John Deere adds bank of bat­ter­ies to trac­tor

The Witness - Wheels - - ELECTRIC -

JOHN Deere has re­leased a video of an all-elec­tric con­cept trac­tor in the lead-up to the SIMA Agribusi­ness show in France, point­ing the way to­ward a zero-lo­cal-emis­sions trac­tor prod­uct in the fu­ture.

In some ways, trac­tors seem like an ideal can­di­date for elec­tri­fi­ca­tion. Elec­tric mo­tors are great for gen­er­at­ing the kinds of huge torque fig­ures trac­tors re­quire, and trac­tors are gen­er­ally fairly short range ve­hi­cles that live in the same shed every night, mak­ing for con­ve­nient recharg­ing.

They’re also very low-main­te­nance in com­par­i­son with diesel gear. That’s the think­ing be­hind John Deere’s Se­sam (Sus­tain­able En­ergy Sup­ply for Agri­cul­tural Ma­chin­ery) trac­tor — a gut­ted out JD 6R with a huge bat­tery bank up front and dual elec­tric mo­tors de­vel­op­ing up to 130 kW (174 horse­power) of con­tin­u­ous power.

The dual mo­tors can be set to three modes; all drive can go to the wheels, or the power take-off shaft, or drive can be split be­tween them.

The bat­tery at this stage will only last for about four hours of work, so it’s not ready for the big leagues yet. But it’s start­ing to get close, and it’s good to see a ma­jor player in agri­cul­ture start­ing to take zero-emis­sions farm­ing se­ri­ously.

PHOTO: JOHN DEERE

John Deere made one of its JD 6R trac­tors full elec­tric by fit­ting a huge bat­tery bank up front (below) and dual elec­tric mo­tors de­vel­op­ing up to 130 kW (174 horse­power) on the rear wheels.

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