India launches its first indigenous electric tractor, CSIR PRIMA ET11
India has recently launched the country's first indigenous fully-electric tractor, named CSIR-PRIMA ET11. The tractor was developed by India's state-owned Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Central Mechanical Research Engineering Institute (CSIR-CMERI).
The CSIR-PRIMA E11 is designed to cater to small and marginal farmers with around two hectares or less of farmland. Farmers can charge the tractor using a conventional home charging socket in 7-8 hours and operate the tractor for more than 4 hours in the field. The tractor can run for more than 6 hours in case of normal haulage operation. Since farmers in India usually start their work in the morning and rest at noon, during this time they can charge their tractor so that they can again use it for their work in the afternoon.
According to the Indian Science and Technology Ministry, this tractor features a robust and efficient transmission by using the semi-synchronised gearing system which helps achieve desired efficiency at minimum cost. The electric tractor is equipped with a hydraulic with a lifting capacity of 500 kg or more, implying the tractor can lift equipment not only for field operation but also hauling. It can tow a 1.8-tonne capacity trolley with a maximum speed of 25 km/h.
As for other features, the tractor has necessary covers and guards which protect it from mud. It runs on a lithium-ion battery, with prismatic cell confirmation and deep discharge capability for farming applications. It has a life of more than 3,000 cycles and has a port called V2L (vehicle-to-load), with which the battery power can be used for pump and irrigation even when the tractor is not in operation.
Official information states that this tractor is also women-friendly, as all the levers and switches have been placed for easy reach to women. To minimise physical effort, many of the mechanical systems have been replaced with electronic switches for easy operations.
The electric tractor was launched by India's Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh on June 30. The tractor technology has been licensed to K N Bioscience, a Hyderabad-based company for mass production.
The electric tractor has been developed keeping in mind India's gradual shift from fossil fuel to greener technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At present, most of the commercial equipment consists of high-power machines which are only feasible for large area of farming and poses a challenge for marginal farmers. Small and margin farmers constitute more than 80 per cent of India's farming community.