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.
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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 kilowatts (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.
Here's the concept video, subtitled in French:
Source: John Deere FranceView gallery - 6 images