Farm equipment manufacturers continue to look at electricity as a way to power tractors and other farm vehicles. These diesel-electric hybrids still use the traditional diesel engine to generate power. But electric motors work in place of a standard transmission to transfer power to the ground.
Marlin Onnen with the John Deere Product Engineering Center and author of the article “Coming soon: Electric tractors” published in Resource magazine, cites four state-of-the-art electrified platforms being used today. These include the John Deere 7030 Series E-Premium tractors, the AGCO RoGator E sprayer, the Belarus Tractor International 3023 tractor, and the Rauch EDR fertilizer spreader. Preliminary testing of the vehicles has shown a fuel savings as high as 25% over traditional diesel-powered vehicles.
Onnen says these vehicles provide a glimpse into the potential future of this technology. “Although it’s not a new idea, electrification is an emerging technology within the agricultural industry,” Onnen says. “Be sure to keep an eye on it.”