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Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by vfx, Feb 8, 2010.
You can vote to help this guy.
Anything more on these? Watching something about food prices rising with oil, farm tractors seem like an ideal EV market.
- Speeds are low
- Weight might be an advantage
- High torque
- Many farmers here invested in solar
And so on...
I think that Tractors have very high power demand. I base this on reports of enormous Diesel consumption even when running intercooled + supercharged engines in their optimal power point. In opposition to cars, Tractors run near full power most of the time. Entry level tractors (e.g. Fendt 200 Vario) come with 44-70kW engine and 125L (=33 gal) fuel tank. Ploughing acres of farmland all day will not be possible with one charge of 250kWh. So you either need quick charging, line feed, or battery swap.
According to Technology Review, John Deere works on replacing hydraulic subsystems with electric ones. Energy is still supplied by ICE, but overall efficiency increases.
I believe overhead line feed tractors have been used in the past. Not popular any more though.
RE: overhead line feed - see these posts in the Electric Truck thread.
Probably too much infrastructure for a farm field though...
Here is my latest electric tractor project, I think I need a larger motor :biggrin:
Thought I'd revive this old thread. Can anyone recommend an electric tractor w/mower attachment, capable of towing a small amount?
I have three acres, tons of wood, and am really tired of the Friday morning wakeup as my landscape guy fires up his mower. (Not to mention that I observed a light dusting of exhaust floating on my pool on Friday. Yuck.)
I have a Lawnbott and it takes care of the lawn portion at least.
it's been a little while since I looked, but it seemed like electric tractors were hard to find -- most are pretty old and out of production, so you'd be finding a used one and searching for parts to keep it going. (or you could get a newer ones as a hand built conversion of a gas tractor/mower)
there are a handful of places making new electric mowers, but I don't think any have a tow point, you could probably rig something up though.
personally i have a hustler zeon, full width riding mower that works well for maintaining our property -- 5acres but only around 2 of it that needs upkeep. recharge mower and ariens also make electric riders that are a bit smaller
being full size though its not silent when mowing, but pretty good
Thanks, Lloyd. I just watched a video on youtube. That might be a good solution for my front yard (about an acre). It looks like I can program it to stay out of the front creek - and it will deal with all the trees I have. How long have you had it?
Thanks! I'll check that out. How does it do on uneven ground? I have about an acre of grass, watered from the creek, groomed - and then another couple of acres that only need to be mowed down a few times a year (natural grasses, no water except rain).
if its infrequent its probably not as good of a choice, while you can maintain 1.5acres (doing it all on one charge), if its super tall or wet, the battery life drops to about half that. cutting wise, its basically identical to any other riding mower, it works best on flat, but has some contingencies for super uneven to try not to scape pure ground. But if its super infrequent, not sure you'd want the cost/maintenance of an electric -- i think they're all lead-acid still so you get to check and fill batteries a few times a year too.
I hav had mine for about 4 years. I love it. It takes a little time to get it set up. You lay a perimeter wire and it would keep it out of your creek. You have to be a little of a tech head to get it all working, but once set up it works great. I have not touched mine now for about a year. If your dogs leave rope toys laying around, that will stop it, but it is just a matter of freeing the toy and pushing a button telling it to go home and charge. You have to lay a perimeter wire and let it incorporate into the lawn. It's great to have a beer and watch your lawn being mowed automatically!
I have had to replace a wheel motor, blade motor, and motherboard in four years. The factory paid for all but the blade motor, even out of warranty.
You might be able to find an old GE Elec-Trak mower that might only need some batteries. You could use sealed AGM's or lithium.
I run a commercial horse barn and see a market for electric utility tractors for dragging riding rings, both for barn operators and also horse shows (especially indoor horse shows where people just put up with the diesel exhaust, yuck).
A tractor doesn't need a large motor or large battery. A 35hp diesel is fine for a small barn, 70hp for a commercial ring, and this would equate to about 20hp and 50hp electric.
Battery range, too, needn't be huge since the daily duty cycle isn't large.
Maybe the batteries as ballast?
Easy to do. Large format lithium batteries, induction motor and controller. Actually have the parts laying around. Would be a great project!
Yeah that's another advantage. ICE tractors have most of the weight on the front wheels, robbing traction for the big traction wheels. A lithium ion battery pack and electric motor could both easily fit between the back wheels or at least under the seat area, giving more traction to the back wheels.