In India, agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for nearly 55% of Indian population, feeding 1.3 billion people and contributing significantly to the country GDP. Tractors play a crucial role in increasing agricultural productivity by mechanization. Indian tractor industry has come a long way in terms of production capacity and technology in last few decades.
CSIR CMERI is having the long history in Design and development tractors of various ranges and capacities. Its journey starts with the very first indigenously developed SWARAJ Tractor in 1965, followed by 35hp sonalika tractor in 2000 and then Small diesel tractor of 12hp Krishishakti in 2009 for small and marginal farmers demand. To take the legacy to the next level CMERI started working with the advance technology in the tractor, in result this e-tractor has been developed.
Traditionally tractors use diesel, thus contributing significantly to the environmental pollution. According to an estimate they consume about 7.4% of our country’s annual diesel usage and account for 60% of total agricultural fuel usage. Also their PM2.5 and NOx emissions are likely to increase 4-5 times the current level in next two decades.
Global carbon foot print reduction strategy necessitates rapid transition of this sector towards electrification. In COP26 summit held at Glasgow in the year 2021, India announced to work towards reducing the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tones by the year 2030. Also target was kept to achieve Net Zero carbon emission by the year 2070. Therefore, electrification of tractors is a necessary step that aids our country in achieving these targets.
Considering the need to further reduces the greenhouse gas emissions and the eventual scarce availability of fossil fuels shortly, electric tractors have been identified as a possible solution in the context of more sustainable farming. However, most of the commercial equipment consists of high-power machines, which are only feasible to large area Farming and poses a challenge for Indian marginal farmers having around 2 hectare of farming land or less and this small & marginal farmer consist of more than 80% of farmer community.
Addressing to this, CSIR-CMERI has indigenously designed and developed compact 100% Pure Electric Tractor named CSIR PRIMA ET11 mainly to cater small and marginal farmers of India.
Salient features of the developed CSIR PRIMA ET11 are as follows:
1) The first very important point that entire tractor has been designed and manufactured with indigenous components and technologies.
2) Since the main purpose of the tractor is to cater the demand of agriculture field application, it has been designed in such a way that its dynamics, weight distribution, transmission engagements, then lever and pedal position everything has been well designed and considered.
3) Another USP of the developed technology is that it Women friendly. For this we have given special attention in the ergonomics, for eg: All the lever, switches etc has been placed for easy approach to the women. Further to minimize the effort many mechanical system is being replaced with electronic switches for easy operations.
4) The farmers can charge the tractor using conventional home charging socket in 7 to 8 hours and operate the tractor for more than 4 hours at field. Otherwise, tractor can run more than 6 hours in case of normal Haulage operation. We have seen that the usual practice of farmer in India that they start their work from morning and at noon they usually take the rest and during this time they can charge their tractor so that theyr can again use it for their work in the afternoon.
5) Coming to Transmission: The tractor is being designed with the robust and efficient transmission system by using the semi Synchronized type gearing system. The design helps to achieve the desired efficiency in min cost.
6) The tractor is equipped with best in class hydraulic with lifting capacity of 500 kg or more. It implies that tractor can lift implement required not only for field operation but also hauling operation. It is also to be mentioned that the tractor can tow 1.8-ton capacity trolley with a max speed of 25 kmph.
7) Its robust designed along with necessary covers and guards protects it from mud and waters.
8) Coming to electric aspects the battery we have chosen as the state of art Lithium ion battery with Prismatic cell confirmation. It has deep discharge capability for farming application and having a life of more than 3000 cycle.
9) The controller and the instrument cluster has been modified to suit the agriculture needs.
10) Another distinct feature, we have provided that there is a port called V2L i.e. vehicle to load, This means when the tractor is not in operation, it battery power can be utilized for other secondary application like pump and irrigation etc.
This first of it’s kind electric tractor has been launced by Union Minister for Science and technology Dr. Jitendra Singh in our One Week One lab curtain raiser ceremony held at New Delhi in the presence of, Secretary, DSIR Dr. N Kalaiselvi and many other dignitaries.
Also this impactful technology has been licensed to K N bioscience, Hyderabad based Company famous for its Kushal Tractor brand and many bioscience related development/product for take it to the ground level and mass production; we are hoping for its grand success.
It is expected that this tractor CSIR PRIMA ET11 will create a breakthrough in sustainable agriculture while meeting ch the demands of small and marginal farmers in India. And thereby this development will trigger to lead India in the global tractor industry with revolutionary vision of “Make for the World”