Electric dreams

Electric John Deere tractors are less than four years away, the company says


After taking a majority stake in a battery manufacturer, electric John Deere tractors are less than four years away, the company says.

John Deere says battery-powered tractors will soon be on Australasian farms.

The manufacturer made the announcement at HortConnections in Brisbane in early June, saying the first electric tractor will be launched in 2026.

“Machinery of this kind will create a monumental shift, not only for John Deere as a manufacturer but also for Australasian agriculture,” John Deere Australia and New Zealand production system manager Steph Gersekowski says. “In less than four years, horticulture farmers will be able to leverage this intelligent and efficient equipment across their farms, creating what can genuinely be described as a significant step-change for high-value crop production.”

Steph says reducing carbon emissions, improving safety, and increasing productivity are among the benefits of the battery-powered tractor. Deere acquired majority ownership of high-density and high-durability battery manufacturer Kreisel Electric earlier this year, a move that helped accelerate Deere’s “electrification journey”.

Steph says the next step for Australia will be testing the prototype tractor on local farms.

“A trial with a prototype of the battery electric utility tractor will soon commence on Australian farms to extensively test the equipment under our nation’s unique farming conditions,” she says.

“Alongside the tractor, John Deere will also bring electric batteries and chargers to market to facilitate the new technology. We believe this move will create a mindset shift towards power and will prioritise the use of green energy on farms.”

She says Deere’s customer research showed up to 70% of horticulture farmers would like to purchase an electric machine and hopes the announcement will be a step forward for the industry. She adds, “Rather than a futuristic ideal, electrification has become today’s expectation.

“Australian agriculture, and in particular the horticulture sector, is facing immense challenges and opportunities in providing a growing worldwide population with food.

“Delivering autonomous and electrically powered tractors is among the solutions John Deere is providing farmers to harness Australian agriculture’s immense opportunities of meeting this increased global food demand.

“The horticulture industry is primed to leap forward with this technology, as many farmers are already leveraging John Deere’s Digital Ecosystem to direct and monitor the flow of machinery across their farms.”  

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