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Electric drive implement power gains momentum

By: Realag Machinery Insider

November 28, 2019

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If there was one buzzword to sum up Agritechnica this year it was “electrification.”

We’re not going full-steam into electric tractors, but electric drives on implements are gaining in popularity and interest.

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Raphael Zohner, with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, was on hand at the show to explain the capabilities of electric drives for implements.

“You’re capable of carrying a larger implement with the same size of tractor, due to the electrified implement,” he says. Zohner adds that moving power back to the implement gives farmers the option of running a smaller tractor or moving to larger implements pulled by what they already have.

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“We wouldn’t use any battery (power from) the tractor, we are using…eCVT, so the tractor itself is still diesel powered but it’s also producing energy for the implement itself,” Zohner says. An example is the eTRAC electric drive that was demonstrated on a plow providing traction support for the unit only.

The technology is not quite there yet for commercial scale, but Zohner says the company is ready to move to the commercial realm if tractor and implement manufacturers want to go that route. Beyond productivity gains, the push for zero-emission tractors will require more battery operated options, and this moves that closer to reality.

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