27 mar 2022 3:18 p.m
A plant in Cheboksary presented the first Russian tractor with an electric drive ready for series production on Saturday. The first? Well, the first experiments with electric tractors were made in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1940s. Elon Musk wasn’t even born then.
A production-ready model of an electric tractor was presented in Russia. The marvel of engineering is based on the serial model of the “KM Universal” tractor, which is produced by the plant for power units in Cheboksary. The design of the electric tractor borrows from the legendary “beggar” – the T-16 tractor, which was manufactured by the Kharkov Tractor Factory between 1961 and 1967. However, the new tractor differs from the classic in that the loading platform is now located at the front of the tractor cab.
The newly developed electric tractor was presented on Saturday by the Kaluga company Activ Techno and the company A priori Solutions for Machines based in Skolkowo near Moscow. The electric motor and the batteries make it possible to do without the two-stroke diesel engine and the hydrostatic transmission. The electrical energy drives not only the chassis of the tractor, but also all attached agricultural implements. The intelligent control enables the electric tractor to transfer up to 90 percent of the machine’s power to the transmission and implement, while tractors with combustion engines only have a maximum of 65 percent.
During tests with the electric tractor, the prototype reached a speed of 30 kilometers per hour. The electric tow tractor can transport more than a ton of cargo on its loading area.
The electric tractor is not just a tribute to the environmental protection trend. First and foremost, according to Cheboksary plant shareholder Grigory Bolotin, the electric tractor will meet the needs of a number of customers, including utility companies and farmers working in large greenhouses.
By the way, the idea of an electric tractor is not new in Russia: the first electric tractor appeared on the market thanks to an initiative of workers at the Petrograd Electric Power Plant. In the spring of 1920 they installed two electric winches pulling a plow on two bogies. This greatly impressed Vladimir Lenin, who was excited by the idea of developing electric tractors. Electric tractors first appeared in the fields in 1949, when they were a mix between a tractor and a trolleybus. The idea did not catch on at the time: the cost of running an electric-powered ET-5 was twice that of a diesel-powered DT-54.
Video: ET-5 in the field
The second advent of electric tractors could be more successful. In addition, with the electric tractor, Russia has already overtaken the Tesla model, which is not yet on the agricultural market. In parallel, work is being done on the development of electric tractors in Germany, Ukraine and India, among others. In Germany, an electric tractor from the Bavarian company Fendt was recently presented to the public.
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