AVL electric chassis ready for field tests

Anyone that visited Agritechnica recently will have seen the flurry of new autonomous electric vehicle concepts, one of which included the bottom half of the German-made E-tractor.

by Steven Vale

2 Dec 2019

Developed over the past two years using off-the-shelf components by AVL Tractor Engineering Germany, the front-mounted battery pack on the modular electric drivetrain provides a maximum of 75kW (700v).

50kW of this is for the axles and remaining 25kW for the steering motor and an electro-hydraulic system for attachments. The battery provides enough power for 4-6 hours of light duty applications, such as mowing, spraying and fertiliser spreading.

An empty battery can be quickly swapped for a full one, says the company. Alternatively, the on-board or external charging systems takes two hours to completely re-charge an empty battery.

Flexibility is a key feature of the modular concept. Steering modes include rear, front, 4ws and crab steer) and it is possible to swap the cab between front, mid- or rear-mounted positions.

The bottom half of the E-tractor is finished. When the bonnet and electrically-powered front and rear linkages/ptos are added then the vehicle’s weight is expected to be around 2.0t (payload is 3.0t).

The plan is to test the concept, which also has a follow a tractor function, with an implement next year. The next stage will be to seek an OEM partner to develop the concept to the commercial stage.

Providing all goes to plan then it might be on sale in three years. AVL not only sees potential for road maintenance duties, but also in fruit orchards and vineyards and on vegetable farms.