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Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by SabrToothSqrl, Dec 7, 2016.
~700 Volt pack voltage, at least that's what the gauge on the off-board charger said.
I got a chuckle out of it using a standard ignition key and needing to move the key from off to on and temporarily to start.
The comment on that article from E39FTW brings up a good point. If I understand what the video was showing, the charger (the thing that converts the AC power to DC; not the EVSE) is mounted on the tractor. That would make it difficult to charge away from the house. If this is true, it would be nicer if it had an on-board 20 kW (80-amp) J1772 charger, possibly with a Tesla inlet. This would take longer to charge, but would possibly be more convenient. It would be relatively easy to add a meter and a J1772 EVSE to an electric pole running along any fields that you tended to work if you had long distances to drive.
Article says 3 hours to charge 130KW pack... um... not with 220-240V, unless they're going to somehow draw 200 amps?
I'm just gonna roll up to this super charger with my John Deer
I meant to say, "If I understand what the video was showing, the charger (the thing that converts the AC power to DC; not the EVSE) is not mounted on the tractor."
This is likely just because it is a concept as they work on the packaging. But their 3 hour quote for 130kWh implies a pretty massive charger and may very well have to be off-board. My WAG is that this will be targeted towards European farms as the EU continues to turn the screws on emissions. Pardon as I make a sweeping generalization but their farms tend to be laid out differently where 55kms of range would be plenty and it would be brought back to its home garage every night.
They may end up doing something like Tesla with a "small" charger on-board and then do DC charging from the garage.
Oh cool....I've got to get one...replace the 5100E (see my signature, left). I'll see if I can rig my HPWC to "Deerespeak"
Farming is possibly even more difficult an ask than aircraft.
The tractor tends to get used intensively for a few weeks, often running 24 hours a day for, say 3 weeks, while dragging the seeder around. It will be extremely difficult to avoid liquid fuel use in this environment.
Farmers will generally buy tractors that are optimised for their use, which is often defined by the drawbar pull needed with the implements. We can be assured that a 400HP tractor will be working hard throughout the day, with short stops to refuel and reload seed and fertisliser.
Farming is non-negotiable: If we don't farm, we don't eat. My view is that this is the place we will be using liquid fuels for a long time.
Present biofuel sourcing is almost totally unsutainable: Ethanol production amounts to converting coal into oil and would be as efficient to use the Fischer-Tropf process, avoiding corn altogether. Something similar occurs with oil palms, where the crop production is entirely offset by enviromnental damage and CO2 release caused by the clearing of ancient rain forest for the palm trees.
It may be that some fraction of the cropping area is reserved for bio-diesel crops to power the agricultural machinery. Undoubtedly, this would result is a near complete curtailment of fossil fuel use in other parts of society. This will be made much more difficult if climate chage results in many servere storms that destroy crops, as the models predict and as we are starting to feel on the ground.
Farms can often get 3-phase at 480V or 600V.
"John Deere now makes better EVs than most auto companies."
It's a low bar...
Operating an EV on acreage implies solar and/or wind power as a given. Then it all makes sense.
it is, it sadly is...
Battery needs to be swappable. One battery is charged while another is used.
Let's get more!
Do it for real!
I've been waiting a long time for this.
Next: construction vehicles. Currently, construction sites are some of the most polluted sites I've ever worked at. This could end that.
No need to wait for John Deere to finish any of this. Any competitor could do it. A third party could also buy used tractors and retrofit them, although a ground up design is always better, however, tractors are so huge, that they have ample room to do a lot of the retrofit components without a lot of hassle.
John Deere is a professional company with all the capability needed by any company to do this right, and has the capability to bring this to market and supply a real demand from real customers. They are uniquely positioned to make this a reality far before anyone else, even if anyone else tried. While my optimism in comment #7 is real, John Deere doing it would be far, far better, if possible. I've been daydreaming of such a day ever since I pulled a delivery into one of their Iowa factory lots while I was doing truck driving (deliveries). I think I was pulling steel at the time. Doesn't matter. Just memories.
You didn't watch the video.
Personally, while I love the idea behind your comment, I don't see a huge difference between importing fossil fuels and importing electricity. One can convert the farming equipment before getting the spiffy solar panels. Others can buy the solar panels & installation before the farming equipment. The flexibility helps one get what one can get and can use.
I'm not making predictions, but at least I am stating what is possible: they could battery swap, charging one pack for 3-5 hours while using the other. If the mounting and changing apparatus for the battery swap is safe and easy to use, then I don't see this being a problem. It would be a lot of fun to properly engineer. And there's literally almost no construction worker who doesn't change batteries at a job site for their Makita/DeWalt/Hilti/Ryobi, so I know even agriculture people will be able to understand how to swap batteries for tractors (even though the scale is --- well, entirely on the opposite end of the spectrum from a screwdriver).
This would require a high voltage drop to someplace accessible to the working tractor, where proper attachment and conversion equipment could be hooked up. I have a feeling that's already pretty much most of the agricultural world in the first world.
I could see the battery swap machine and charger being attached to a trailer, and parked under a pole someplace to plug in. It would be properly stabilized in the ground so that it doesn't tip over during swap (so no farmers get injured during swap) such as proper outriggers; it would be automated so that the farmer doesn't have to be caught in the mechanism during failure. It should be designed so that the farmer doesn't have a need to maintain it, since a lot of farming accidents happen getting trapped in falling or malfunctioning equipment. It's not a free engineering project, but it is one that I think can be done and will bear fruit if actually tried properly.
It needs to be approached with the respect it deserves. But it clearly could be done.
To complete this concept Deere needs to: (1) turn the battery into an easily swapable module and: (2) attach a small battery onboard with enough KWHs to allow for the tractor to accomplish the battery swapping operation and do a bit of moving around the location. Similar to my electric chainsaw which allows continual field operation with just two L-ion batteries; while one is charging the other is dropping trees and trimming. Farm might require 3 batteries actually to ensure the job gets done.