Introduction: India proudly announced the launch of its first homegrown electric tractor, the CSIR-PRIMA ET11. The tractor’s inception was a collaborative effort by the state-owned Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Central Mechanical Research Engineering Institute (CSIR-CMERI).
Design & Target Audience
Aimed predominantly at small and marginal farmers with around two hectares or less of farmland, the CSIR-PRIMA E11 offers a practical solution to India’s farming community. This electric workhorse can be conveniently charged from a standard home socket in just 7-8 hours and provides a reliable operational time of over 4 hours in farming conditions. For general haulage tasks, its battery life extends to over 6 hours. Recognizing the typical farming schedule, where farmers take a midday break, the tractor can be recharged to be ready for the afternoon’s tasks.
The Indian Science and Technology Ministry highlights the tractor’s semi-synchronised gearing system, ensuring optimal performance at an affordable price. Other notable features include:
- A robust hydraulic system capable of lifting over 500 kg. This makes it suitable for both field operations and hauling tasks.
- The ability to tow a 1.8-tonne trolley at speeds up to 25 km/h.
- Protective covers and guards to shield it from mud.
A resilient lithium-ion battery designed specifically for farming needs. It offers over 3,000 cycles of life and features a V2L (vehicle-to-load) port. This allows the battery to power pumps and irrigation systems even when the tractor is stationary.
The CSIR-PRIMA ET11 has been meticulously designed to cater to both male and female farmers. Most of the traditional mechanical systems have been swapped out for electronic switches to minimize physical effort. All controls are conveniently placed to be within easy reach, ensuring an inclusive design that’s user-friendly for women.
Launch & Licensing
India’s Science and Technology Minister, Jitendra Singh, unveiled this innovative tractor on June 30. The production rights have been licensed to K N Bioscience, a company based in Hyderabad, ensuring the tractor is made available to the masses.
Environmental Considerations & Market Need
Developed in line with India’s transition from fossil fuels to eco-friendly alternatives, this electric tractor addresses the challenge faced by the majority of India’s farmers. A significant 80% of the nation’s farmers have smaller land holdings, making high-power commercial equipment an impractical choice for them. The CSIR-PRIMA ET11 bridges this gap, bringing cutting-edge technology to the very heart of India’s farming community.