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Deere Unveils “Plugged In” Electric Tractor
Deere & Co. recently unveiled a prototype electric tractor that runs off 300 kW power supplied by a cable that remains connected to the tractor while it works in the field. That means there are no heavy banks of batteries weighing down the tractor.
    Based on a Deere 6210R tractor, the GridCON tractor has no cab and is designed for fully autonomous use in the field. A 100 kW elecric motor powers the “automatic” transmission and there’s an outlet on the tractor to power up to 200 kW electric implements.
    A drum fixed to the front of the tractor carries up to 3,000 ft. of cable, which is fed out and reeled in by a robot arm. An intelligent guidance system keeps the tractor from running over the cable. The tractor works at field speeds of up to 12 mph and can be manually controlled by a remote control.
    The biggest benefit of the electric configuration is that the tractor weighs about the same as a conventional tractor but has twice as much power. It’s also noiseless, and operating costs are about 50 percent lower.

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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #3