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Kubota Unveils Prototype Electric Tractors and Compact Construction Machinery — Studying feasibility for launch in the post-diesel European market —

January 15, 2020

Kubota Corporation (Head Office: Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan; President and Representative Director: Yuichi Kitao; hereinafter, “Kubota”) unveils prototypes of electric tractors and electric compact construction machinery (mini excavators), which are currently under development, at a new product exhibition held in Kyoto City. Kubota will proceed with the continuous development by conducting demonstration experiments and analyzing the needs of local users.

1. Aims of the development

  • Currently, one of Kubota’s mainstay product categories is agricultural machinery powered by diesel engines. In response to the global shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), however, Kubota has engaged in reseach and development of electrically powered equipment, such as motors, inverters, and battery packs, to prepare for future opportunities.
  • Meanwhile, the authorities of Paris city announced their plan to phase out the use of cars powered by diesel engines by 2024. Given the accelerated move toward banning the use of diesel engines in Europe and elsewhere, Kubota decided to make prototype models from its compact tractors to identify the needs of local users.
  • At the same time, Kubota has made a prototype of construction machinery that shares key electrical components with tractors, in preparation for the development of non-diesel-powered and ultralow-noise construction machinery.

2. About the prototype models

(1) Tractor
Model name Battery- (electrically-) powered compact tractor
Maximum output Equivalent to output of compact tractors with a diesel engine
Batteries Lithium-ion batteries
Dimensions 2,770 x 1,249 x 2,353 (mm)
Target applications Weeding in parks, transportation, fertilizer application, etc.
(2) Compact construction machinery
Model name Battery- (electrically-) powered mini excavator
Maximum output Equivalent to output of mini excavators with a diesel engine
Batteries Lithium-ion batteries
Dimensions 4,550 x 1,400 x 2,420 (mm)
Target applications Construction work requiring emission control and extremely low noise output, in addition to general construction work

3. Future plans

  • Kubota will start monitor tests of the tractor in France this year.
  • Kubota plans to lauch the electrical tractors and electrical compact construction machinery sooner after conducting a series of experiments and evaluations for them. .
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