John Deere Reveals a Battery-Powered Farm Tractor

American agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere showcased its new prototype battery-electric farm tractor ahead of next month’s French SIMA show (Paris International Agri Business Show).

While the company has shown a variety of alternative-fuel sources in the past, including a gasoline-electric hybrid version, this concept, called SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery), is the first fully powered solely by a lithium-ion battery pack.

Based on John Deere’s existing 6R tractor, the SESAM replaces the diesel engine with a 130 kilowatt-hour battery pack.

The pack provides power to two electric motors with a total output of 402 horsepower.

Depending on power needs, the motors can dedicate drive to the tractor, to the power take-off (PTO) shaft, or split the output with each motor taking on a separate duty.

John Deere said the SESAM has all the capabilities of a traditional tractor but with no local emissions. With ample torque that’s available immediately, the electric motors are well suited for farm work including heavy hauling.

SEE ALSO: Mercedes-Benz Shows Off All-Electric Urban eTruck With 124-Mile Range

Like all electric vehicles, the only sound the SESAM makes is the whine of the electric motors, and even those go silent whenever a farmer stops the tractor.

While the video makes the SESAM look like a successful proof of concept, it isn’t quite ready to take on a full day of work on the farm.

With a fully charged battery, the electric tractor can only operate for around four hours, and then the pack takes three hours to charge — a time loss that farmers can’t realistically work around.

However, green (not the paint color) electric John Deere tractors may not be far off. The company announced a new development group focused on the electrification of its machinery.


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