A start-up company has unveiled ambitious plans for a new zero-emissions power source for conventional farm tractors.
Atomictractor, founded by Campbell Scott, a former senior executive with global agricultural equipment firm AGCO and its brand Massey Ferguson, has completed a feasibility study with Aston University in Birmingham, UK looking at low carbon technologies. The tractor, developed to advanced concept level, provides a practical answer to farmers seeking to eliminate diesel costs and future-proof their energy source.
The hybrid concept delivers high torque and power plus guaranteed long working hours with minimum downtime for recharge – perfect for the long working days of the harvest or cultivation seasons.
“The precise nature of the technology remains confidential,” said Campbell. “However, it can be described as the application of the most appropriate solutions from the low-carbon world today and their integration into the specialised field of agriculture.”
The power unit is being designed and developed in the UK but will be suitable for global use across a wide range of power applications in agriculture. The initial focus is on tractors up to 100 kW (or 134hp diesel engine equivalent).
Partners are now being sought to move the project into the prototype and commercialisation phase.
Campbell added: “We would ideally like to partner with an existing tractor manufacturer.
“There is a degree of engineering interface required between the new low-carbon drivetrain and the donor tractor and this can be best provided by the tractor maker. However, I am keen to discuss the project with all interested parties who share my vision to deliver practical approaches to the complex problems facing the future of mobile off-road energy sources.”
Another key element in the Atomictractor initiative will be a new electric-powered small tractor. “With this, we are taking our cue from the design principles of the famous Ferguson TE20 ‘Little Grey Fergie’ tractor, first produced in Coventry in 1946,” says Campbell. “Like the TE20, this new futuristic model – called the E20 – is aimed at smaller farmers all over the world who need a simple, workmate machine to carry out multiple jobs on the farm.”
Campbell Scott is well-known in the farm machinery sector and has vast experience in the development and marketing of tractors and agricultural equipment extending over 30 years. Since leaving AGCO, he has focused on the technology, public policy and commercial factors involved in the marketing of Electric Vehicles and extensively studied how they can be applied to the world of agriculture.