Sustainable and Multi-Talented
E-mobility is on the rise across the world. The technology is mainly used for commercial applications, where its use enables the costs, sustainability and efficiency to be reconciled. With the eHoftrac, utility vehicle manufacturer Weidemanndeveloped a prototype of a farm loader as early as 2013 with the help of drive technology from Linde eMotion. It was the first ever fully electric utility vehicle and subsequently went into series production.
This meant that a wide range of industries now had access to this especially flexible version of the “tractor’s little brother.” From transport tasks in agriculture and forestry to earthmoving work in construction through to street and sidewalk cleaning in municipalities. For the drive, Weidemann opted for Linde components and software, in order to meet the performance requirements for these work-intensive applications.
Quiet, clean and powerful
A central concern when developing the eHoftrac was to sustainably reduce the emissions in agriculture. The noise level also needed to be kept as low as possible in order to enable more species-appropriate usage, primarily in zoos and other animal-keeping settings. But there was another challenge for the team from Linde eMotion: The electric farm loader needed to deliver the same performance as a conventional vehicle with combustion engine, while remaining in a similar price range.
These requirements have produced some technical challenges. The electric motors have to be adapted in the existing compact installation space for diesel engines while still providing the same performance.
Jan Prechel, Farm Loader Project Manager at Weidemann
Proven Forklift Truck Solution Impresses
Following a comparison of different providers, Weidemann was ultimately won over by Linde’s eMotion solution and a prototype was constructed with the help of the proven Linde forklift truck drive components: The drive motor and inverter are taken from a reach truck and the pump motor is from the standard Linde electric forklift truck series. The software is also from Linde and just needed to be adapted to the range of services required for a farm loader.
Energy as Required
A standard 48-volt lead battery from the forklift market was used. For vehicles of this kind, however, all Linde energy options are possible, from high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries through to modern fuel cells.
Into Production in No Time
With the proven drive and software solutions as well as the expertise of Linde eMotion, developing a prototype is just as quick as turning it into a product ready for series production. The eHoftrac is a textbook example of how Linde drive systems contribute to innovations in a wide range of applications.