Automotive

John Deere's electric tractor: A vision of zero emissions farming

John Deere's electric tractor:...
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: regen braking will help refill the battery on downward slopes
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: regen braking will help refill the battery on downward slopes
View 6 Images
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: regen braking will help refill the battery on downward slopes
1/6
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: regen braking will help refill the battery on downward slopes
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: dual motors make up to 130 kilowatts
2/6
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: dual motors make up to 130 kilowatts
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: motor power can be split between the drive and the power takeoff shaft
3/6
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: motor power can be split between the drive and the power takeoff shaft
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: digital dash readout
4/6
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: digital dash readout
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: powered by a whopping lithium battery pack under the hood
5/6
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: powered by a whopping lithium battery pack under the hood
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: one Agribusiness manufacturer's vision of a zero emissions future
6/6
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: one Agribusiness manufacturer's vision of a zero emissions future
View gallery - 6 images

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 kilowatts (174 horsepower) of continuous power.

John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: powered by a whopping lithium battery pack under the hood
John Deere's SESAM electric tractor: powered by a whopping lithium battery pack under the hood

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:

Tracteur SESAM John Deere - Présentation

Source: John Deere France

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
Jay Gatto
Electric drive is ideal for high torque uses from zero revs, like towing stuff ... and use close to independent charging, which could be a private wind generator, solar, whatever
Drachen
They should make the step to Hybrid systems first, not just straight to electric.
4 hours is nothing for a farmer, around here they'll run sun up to sun down to plant and harvest their crops.
Bob
I see a huge power demand for 8-12 hours a day. Add a small diesel generator to extend the battery range and you might have something viable. A big tractor that is down for a recharge isn't very useful. Since they usually work in a small area for long periods, a swappable extra battery might be practical or simply a generator that attaches to the field equipment might work. Since big diesels are the most polluting under load, a smaller diesel generator would yield less pollution.