It’s four years later than originally planned, but next year Fendt will finally start (limited) production of an electric narrow-track tractor. There’s a battery pack under the hood, and an electric motor drives a Vario gearbox. Future Farming took a test drive with the Fendt e107V.
In 2024, tractor manufacturer Fendt will finally start production of an electric tractor: the Fendt e107V. A limited number of tractors will be available for three markets: Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. For this, Fendt has slightly modified the factory in Marktoberdorf (Germany). The electric tractors are built on the same assembly line as the other tractors, but there is a bypass to a separate room where the high-voltage components are installed.
Fendt does not specify how many tractors will roll off the production line in 2024. The manufacturer also does not comment on its expectations regarding market potential. However, Fendt does reveal that actual series production will start in 2025 and that the selling price – depending on options – will be 50 to 100% higher than a standard 207V diesel tractor.
Initially, it’s just one model: the e107V. This is a narrow-track tractor with an outer width of 107 centimeters, where ‘e’ stands for electric and ‘V’ for vineyard.
The broader model, the 200P series on which the original e100 prototype was based, is not coming to market for now. The reason is that the tractor in the 200P series is used for jobs where it consumes an average of 7 to 8 liters of diesel per hour, while a narrow-track tractor typically burns 5 to 6 liters of diesel.
In other words, according to Fendt, a narrow-track tractor is less demanding on engine power in practice. With the electric narrow-track tractor, you can work for about four to five hours on a single battery charge. For a 200P model, it would be three hours.
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Interestingly, you can choose in the menu how much power the electric motor delivers: 50 kW, 55 kW, or (albeit for a limited time) 66 kW. On the left side of the tractor, there are two sockets for charging. It can be charged with the same plugs as electric cars (type 2).
With a fast charger (maximum 80 kW), the battery can be charged in 40 minutes from 20 to 80%. With a 22 kW alternating current charger, it takes four hours to recharge the tractor. Fendt has not yet made any statements about the lifespan of the battery.
The new e107V is essentially a 207V narrow-track with the diesel engine and exhaust replaced by a battery pack and electric motor. The hood of the electric tractor is slightly higher, and the tractor weighs about 200 kg more. Otherwise, the tractors are identical to each other.
The lithium-ion battery pack is located under the hood. Below that is a 700-volt electric motor that behaves exactly like the diesel engine. This electric motor drives a standard Vario transmission. Fendt chooses to retain this Vario so that one electric motor can drive the four wheels, the PTO(s), and the hydraulics. This would be cheaper than providing all components with separate electric components.
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Conceptually, the tractor is identical to the e100 prototype we drove in 2019. What is new, however, is that a front PTO is now available and that there is a start-stop system. The latter ensures that the electric motor only starts running at an idle speed (800 rpm) when you choose a driving direction, with the Vario also only then operating in active standby. Only after choosing a driving direction do you hear the sound of a running electric and hydraulic motor. However, the heating (underfloor heating) or air conditioning remains active when the start-stop system shuts down the electric motor.
There are two 12-volt coolers under the hood at the front. One is for the air conditioning, and the other cools the electrical components. The air is sucked in from the sides and blown out through the front and top of the grill.
The biggest difference between this production-ready and the prototype, according to Fendt, is that now only certified components are used, which are also known from the automotive sector. Think of battery supplier BMZ. This makes it possible to homologate the tractor according to all regulations. For the prototype, Fendt still bought all components from start-up companies.
The driving behavior is very similar to that of a diesel variant. Inside, you mainly recognize the electric tractor by its sound. The diesel rumble of the three-cylinder engine is missing. Instead, there is a fairly monotonous hum, like an electric motor produces. The cabin is exactly like that of a standard narrow-track, with the FendtOne control screen displaying the battery level.
Incidentally, you don’t hear the rumbling sound of the tires either, because together with tire manufacturer Trelleborg, Fendt has developed new tires for the tractor. According to Fendt, regular tires with perpendicular knobs have a relatively high rolling resistance, which affects energy consumption. These new tires have a central middle rib, which should result in lower rolling resistance.