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Global news: John Deere new launches

John Deere has used a Las Vegas tech show to launch an electric excavator and new precision fertiliser system

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Deere’s 145 X-Tier electric excavator

Machinery giant John Deere introduced a new technology – ExactSpot – alongside an electric excavator at the Consumer Technology Association (CES) annual conference, held this January in Las Vegas. ExactSpot uses sensors and robotics to reduce the amount of fertiliser needed during planting by placing the fertiliser precisely on to seeds, as they are planted in the soil rather than applying a continuous flow to the entire row of seeds.

This will reduce the amount of starter fertiliser needed by more than 60%, Deere says, and the manufacturer used the US corn crop as an example to show that it could save 93 million gallons (350 million litres) of fertiliser each year. By reducing fertiliser wastage, it will save not only costs but also reduce the chances that additional fertiliser will encourage weed growth or run off into waterways, the manufacturer adds.

John Deere chief technical officer Jahmy Hindman says both ExactSpot and the electric excavator were launched with a common goal.

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The ExactSpot technology will increase fertiliser efficiency

“Everything we do at John Deere is focused on real purpose and real impact,” he says. “This means we’re developing technology that enables our customers to provide the food, fuel, fibre, and infrastructure that our growing global population needs.”

Deere’s electric excavator – 145 X-Tier – is powered by a Kreisel battery, an Austrian company that it acquired a majority stake of in late 2021. The batteries are modular, reducing the cost of ownership, and use a charging infrastructure, which Deere says costs about 50% less than typical electric-vehicle fast chargers. Deere says the benefits of an electric excavator for construction workers and road builders are numerous, including “lower daily operating costs, reduced job site noise, enhanced machine reliability, and zero emissions, without sacrificing the power and performance they need in a machine”.

It also forms part of the manufacturer’s goal of introducing more than 20 electric and hybrid-electric construction equipment models by 2026.

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