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I feel like this could be one of the better applications for electric vehicles. The weight of the batteries is desirable (as ballast). The distance from the power source is typically static (no one takes a cross country trip in their tractor). I think that price point and longevity will be the determining factors. Companies like Tesla are making regular strides in the battery technology that would be necessary to make the numbers work. I tend to wonder, though, would they continue to use hydraulics for so much, or switch out things like the 3 pt lift with electric motors?

Lee
 

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I bet that thing can generate some serious torque, as most electric motors can do.
 

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Reminded me of the sound the toy Gator the grandkids had.:dunno:

So wonder how much money that would cost to charge the batteries. :dunno::hide::gizmo:

:munch:
 

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Diesel electric

I'm almost surprised they didn't put a small diesel generator in the mix to run in the background charging. I'd hate to have a dead 30,000 lb tractor in the field a couple of miles or more from a plug.

Treefarmer
 

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I'm almost surprised they didn't put a small diesel generator in the mix to run in the background charging. I'd hate to have a dead 30,000 lb tractor in the field a couple of miles or more from a plug.

Treefarmer
I've wondered why all the automotive manufacturers haven't done the same thing. OH Wait that would say us ,as a user , money.. but that could maybe end the need of gasoline, diesel fuel, power from the power company. That could put a hurt on the economy .:dunno:
 

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I feel like this could be one of the better applications for electric vehicles. The weight of the batteries is desirable (as ballast). The distance from the power source is typically static (no one takes a cross country trip in their tractor). I think that price point and longevity will be the determining factors. Companies like Tesla are making regular strides in the battery technology that would be necessary to make the numbers work. I tend to wonder, though, would they continue to use hydraulics for so much, or switch out things like the 3 pt lift with electric motors?

Lee
My first thought was that it would not work well. The video shows the tractor has a range of 34 miles. A lot of farmers have that much distance between farms. Even if their farms are close together, it would not take long to travel 34 miles on a any farm during planting & harvesting season. How long does it take to recharge?

The video also states that the tractor is now green inside.
Why are batteries that are made up of toxic waste considered green?
 

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My first thought was that it would not work well. The video shows the tractor has a range of 34 miles. A lot of farmers have that much distance between farms. Even if their farms are close together, it would not take long to travel 34 miles on a any farm during planting & harvesting season. How long does it take to recharge?

The video also states that the tractor is now green inside.
Why are batteries that are made up of toxic waste considered green?
I just had that conversation this morning. Mind you, I was ranting about a guy who chucked a cigarette butt on the ground as he climbed out of his Lexus hybrid. Of course, I am sure he feels like he is an "eco-hero" for owning that hybrid but in the end, those batteries will have to be recycled. ...and the cigarette butt will naturally become compost (right? :laugh:)

Lee
 

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Why are batteries that are made up of toxic waste considered green?
Do you drive a Jeep, Chris? Yeah, I know that's kind of an off the wall question, but here's why I asked...

Before I started spending obscene amounts of money on a certain green tractor, I spent obscene amounts of money on a certain red Jeep Wrangler (and before that I spent obscene amounts of money flying small planes :gizmo:). And before I started spending all my time on this board making friends with this crazy gang, I spent a lot of time perusing a Jeep website learning all I could about my ride. Someone(s) on that board started posting some sort of statistic that an older Jeep Wrangler was more "green" than a newer Prius in spite of the 15mpg (on a good day!) that the Wrangler got. This was due primarily to the fact that the Wrangler was constructed primarily of recycled/recyclable metals and the Prius was full of toxic chemicals in the batteries and also that so much of the Prius' materials weren't recyclable. I don't know how true any of that was/is, but I can certainly see the logic behind it.

I also do agree with your question - there's all sorts of nasty, toxic stuff in those batteries! Not to mention the nasty stuff if it's being recharged via a nuke plant.

On the other hand, all the potential torque that's available from that big motor is pretty intriguing!
 

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Do you drive a Jeep, Chris?

On the other hand, all the potential torque that's available from that big motor is pretty intriguing!
No, I have never owned or driven a Jeep. I do not believe I have ever ridden in a Jeep.

I agree that the amount of torque electric motors development is amazing, but it only develops that toque while the batteries are providing power. A comparable diesel tractor can be run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A user might get 5 or 6 hours a day out of the electric tractor.
 

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I'm almost surprised they didn't put a small diesel generator in the mix to run in the background charging. I'd hate to have a dead 30,000 lb tractor in the field a couple of miles or more from a plug.

Treefarmer
They played with that idea about ten years ago and then pulled the plug on the project.

Tractors today run 5 to 7 mph when working, sometimes faster depending on what they're doing. That distance of 34 miles range makes no sense. Batteries be dead in five to seven hours? Then need a three hour recharge? They better be cheap, because I've run 12+ hour days many many times, Mr. Farmer will need two tractors to run that long! It's doubtful they replace diesel power for many years.

Allis Chalmers made a fuel cell tractor back in 1959.

Tractor that size weighs more like 10,000-12,000#, not 30,000#.
 

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My biggest question is, why?
 
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An electric tractor? Sure why not. Electric drive has been used on large ocean going vessels as well as locomotives for many years. The only difference is that the aforementioned applications include diesel engines. The engines turn generators to produce the power that charges the batteries. This diesel-electric technology provides the extended range necessary for continuous service.

All electric, battery powered applications have limited range and a finite battery service life. Where electric automotive battery applications are rated for ~ 5 years, tractors can be expected to provide many, many more years of service. Even if the battery packs last as long as 5 years you'd have 4 complete battery bank changeovers over a 20 year time frame. This expensive proposition might be the deal breaker for electric tractors. Additionally, electric vehicles need to be charged. Coal or gas fueled plants consume energy and produce CO2 to provide the power to recharge the batteries. A better scenario might be for a farm to use wind or solar power to recharge the batteries.
 
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weight

They played with that idea about ten years ago and then pulled the plug on the project.

Tractors today run 5 to 7 mph when working, sometimes faster depending on what they're doing. That distance of 34 miles range makes no sense. Batteries be dead in five to seven hours? Then need a three hour recharge? They better be cheap, because I've run 12+ hour days many many times, Mr. Farmer will need two tractors to run that long! It's doubtful they replace diesel power for many years.

Allis Chalmers made a fuel cell tractor back in 1959.

Tractor that size weighs more like 10,000-12,000#, not 30,000#.
Hmm, not sure about that one. Our much smaller IH 986 has a curb weight of 10-13,000 before adding weight, fluid to the tires etc. I checked some weights on larger IH tractors and you could add as much as 20,000 lbs of weight to the tractor between front weights and wheel weights. A 400 hp 4WD with duals and just the inside tires with fluid is going to be well over 20,000.

I agree on the 12 hour days. Distance is immaterial, time under load is what matters. I really could see a diesel electric though. Constant speed on the diesel, some battery pack for the occasional max torque and electric controls. It works for trains and some tugboats, why not for tractors?

Treefarmer
 
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Had same thought. Diesel electric. Run diesel at max efficiency rpm / load to power electric generator. Battery service life makes this one impractical. However, keep in mind, it's also new technology in test.


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I won't derail this thread with the email discussion I'm having with two friends I used to work with. One is a dyed in the wool greenie wind and solar advocate with the renewable energy lab in Golden, CO; while the other is a hardcore fossil fuel advocate that helped design power plants and the boilers used to generate steam.

Let's just say that I see both viewpoints.
 

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An electric tractor? Sure why not. Electric drive has been used on large ocean going vessels as well as locomotives for many years. The only difference is that the aforementioned applications include diesel engines. The engines turn generators to produce the power that charges the batteries. This diesel-electric technology provides the extended range necessary for continuous service.
To be honest I've always wondered why this wasn't exploited more especially for class 8 trucks. A lot of advantages to a diesel/electric.

Years ago I road in a prototype from Oshkosh Truck that used a diesel to power a generator and electric motors at each wheel. Very similar to a locomotive setup. It could do everything the diesel only could and use less fuel. A major advantage was electric braking and the ability to power things from the generator. They even powered the airport with the generator.
 
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