With regular and fast-charging facilities and the ability to power implements via a power take-off shaft or electric motors, Fendt claims the e100 Vario is the first viable farm tractor with battery power.
The energy source is a 650v high-capacity lithium-ion battery with a capacity of around 100kWh housed beneath the hood.
Its 50kW power output – equivalent to almost 70hp – can be sustained for 5 hours under normal working conditions, says Fendt, and with a ‘supercharging’ option, the battery can be 80% re-charged in about 40 minutes.
A new energy-efficient thermal management system uses an electrical heat pump for air conditioning the cab and the battery and control electronics. Pre-heating in winter and cab cooling in summer can be performed while the tractor is connected to the power supply for added operator comfort.
Fendt has built into the e100 Vario a power socket in anticipation of a growing number of farm implements being driven by electric motors rather than mechanical or by hydraulics.
But the tractor retains conventional hydraulics and power take-off (pto) so that current hay tedders and rakes, orchard equipment, sweeping brushes and so on can still be operated.
Emissions-free (if powered by electricity from renewable sources) and low noise operation are attractions of the machine, says Fendt, and it is equipped to feed excess power into the grid.
Fendt plans to build a limited number of examples in 2018 for farms and municipal authorities before increasing production and distribution thereafter.