Batteries and John Deere. Can you imagine an ‘electric Deere’? We do, but it’s not what you might think. John Deere Power Systems has an original strategy, also due to the Group’s synergies. We asked to Philippe Contault, JDPS Marketing Communication Manager.

Batteries and John Deere

John Deere’s proposal seems to start from a different assumption than all manufacturers who have ventured into electrification of their operating vehicles. No batteries. Is it a final choice or is there also a transition to hybrid and then full electric in the future?

The electrification market has changed the off-highway industry, but diesel power still has a long life ahead. While the off-highway industry continues to grow and adapt, the demands remain the same — a rugged market demands a product that can meet customers’ expectations in a variety of applications. John Deere has taken a balanced and scalable approach to integrating electrification, which includes the diesel engine as a vital source of power. With that being said, the evolution of battery technology will play an interesting role in how electrification solutions continue to evolve. Today, due to the power requirements in off-highway applications, the number of kilowatt hours needed from battery technology to sustain operations for a full work cycle, combined with the time it takes to charge those batteries, makes it challenging for large off-highway applications to be fully electric in the foreseeable future. In addition, many customers may operate machines in locations where accessibility to the grid isn’t practical, making charging difficult. John Deere is positioned to serve market needs, however they may evolve. The company was among the first to introduce electric drive technology in construction and quarry-sized wheel loaders — it produced the 644K Hybrid Wheel Loader in 2013 and the 944K Hybrid Wheel loader in 2015. The machine models have since collectively logged more than 1.5 million operating hours in the field. In addition, the introduction of the eAutoPower™ electric Infinitely Variable Transmission™ (IVT) was awarded the only gold medal for the Innovation Award Agritechnica 2019.

IVT key features

One key feature of the IVT is the first of its kind ability to off-board electric power to the implement. The current electric drive solutions from John Deere were developed to best meet today’s electrification needs. The company continues to adapt to market demands as the landscape changes; and we are confident in its position to offer its customers the power solutions they need for their off-highway applications.

(You’ll find soon the rest of the interview)


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