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John Deere reveals battery-powered tractor

Battery is capable of generating 402hp

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

In preparation for SIMA, an international agribusiness show taking place in France from Feb. 26 to March 2, 2017, John Deere revealed a battery-powered tractor.

And it’s not the type driven around by young children. Rather, it is a full-size tractor, ready to work on the farm.

Deere calls the idea SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery). It’s the first tractor fully powered by a lithium-ion battery, the same type of battery that powers many smartphones.

"As an industry, we have come a long way managing and reducing our overall GHG emissions," Leah Olson, president, Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada, told Farms.com in an email. "We continue to look for ways to further reduce our environmental footprint but always consider the impact such changes will have on the farmer and his or her productivity and efficiency levels."


Note: The captions in the video appear in French.

 

 

 

Using the John Deere 6R tractor, the diesel engine is swapped out for a 130 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The battery powers two electric motors, capable of generating a total of 402 hp.

The tractor can dedicate drive to the motors,  the PTO, or split the power between the two motors.

“(The tractor) has the features and functionality of a "conventional" tractor while offering the benefits of electric power,” Deere said in the tractor’s debut video, adding the machine is carbon neutral and doesn’t produce emissions.

On a full charge, the tractor can operate for about four hours. But the battery needs about three hours to charge.

Farms.com reached out to John Deere for comment on if battery-powered tractors will be available to farmers in North America.

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