Last changed: 04 October 2023

In this project, we will demonstrate how a cable-fed electric tractor under practical conditions and heavy field work. The idea is to drive farm tractors and other harvesting machines direct electricity.

The power of the engines is estimated to vary from 40 to 200 kW. The tractor is powered by cable rolled out and in from the edge of the field. At the edge of the field is a mobile cable reel. The mobile cable reel is in turn connected to a fixed socket. Roughly, a fixed outlet cover 25-50 hectars. In the design, we intend to combine technique that works well in the forest (electric drive vehicles) and mines (reels) with the various field operations at issue in agriculture. It is now possible to build a demonstrator appropriate tractor chassis, based on the technology used (for example in mines). The concept has been tested in agriculture, but under different economical and environmental conditions. The most energy-intensive work on a farm is plowing,
why this application will be the focus of the project. However, there is nothing to prevent the same technology used for other field operations or, with some modifications, around the farm (buildings).

The report is divided into eight work packages (WP):

  • WP1. Literature review and research. What is on the market and how we can combine other similar technology with the current concept?
  • WP2. Technical design, layout and risk assessment. How should rig with cable reel look and designed to function optimally and safely? Analysis of electrical safety and the risk of accidents is part of the assessment
  • WP3. Electricity infrastructure. The design, planning and construction of a connection to the grid that can handle power peaks and other stresses. Factors that need to be developed is the design and control of the electric power transmission and the cable reel, as well as how to operate the vehicle across the field at different types of work. Furthermore, how to connect various fields with their own grid or interact with the existing local grid
  • WP4. Techno-economic analysis. The concept is evaluated in terms of technology, finance and practice. What is the company's cost compared to diesel tractors, both with regard to investment and operating costs. How does these depend on factor such as wear? How well the system works for different driving techniques and how it can be adapted to maximize its flexibility and minimize the risk of the cable being tangled or damaged. What are the opportunities for future cost reductions are large-scale production? Where are the greatest future development needs?
  • AP5. Design, procurement, equipment, installation and risk analysis. Construction of the rig and risk assessment of rigs, power grids and transmission systems. Tractor rig projected based layout and a design drawing to be developed. The components are procured. Construction and assembly of the carriage with respect to the installation, construction and testing on the basis of functionality and risk. The idea is to build up a suitable chassis with electric motor drive for the system of connection to the grid already tested
  • AP6. Test and demonstrate (workshop). The rig will be demonstrating plowing of a large area, equipped with a powerful electric motor and a long cable reel. After a number of runs, the concept can be evaluated based on parameters such as energy, functionality, performance, capacity, wear, risk and cost. All these parameters can be weighted, are measured and compared with the conventional technique. For other practical parameters such as functionality / disorders / difficulties are also made an oral evaluation. After testing in the fields the tractor will be demonstrated for the stakeholders and a workshop conducted to discuss the concept's possibilities, problems and challenges.
  • AP7. Communication and final seminar. This is, in many respects, a communications project to show how electricity can be used for heavy work. During the project, is therefore continuous contacts with different players to spread the word about the project. In the end, a seminar will be held to present the conclusions of the project.
  • AP8. Documentation, reporting, evaluation. summary


The project is carried out by Gasilage, SLU, Sweco and Sala Heby Energi. It is funded by the Energy Agency's demonstration program for electric vehicles.