John Deere wants to establish electric drives in agriculture. The agricultural machinery manufacturer is now showing a world premiere: a fully electric, autonomous tractor in operation on the field. Electrive.com was given an exclusive release.
John Deere developed the new electric agricultural machine through the GridCON research project in a development consortium that includes B.A.U.M Consult GmbH and the TU Kaiserslautern (technical university). The result is an autonomous tractor that does not require a traditional cab and has the capacity of connecting with smart grid infrastructures. This means that farmers who are already generating their own on-site renewable energy can plug directly into their own supply.
The tractor does not draw its energy from an on board battery, but instead takes its energy through a cable connected to the grid. The conception of the automated cable routing was a crucial part of the project’s innovation goals. In the field, the electric agricultural machine is supplied with direct current in the medium-voltage range (>6000 V DC) via this cable, which is transformed to the 700 V DC at the on-board network. The finished system was tested in the field for the first time this year by the engineers at John Deere’s European Technology Innovation Center in Kaiserslautern. We are happy to host the resulting video as an exclusive world premiere: