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Africa|Energy|Engineering|Industrial|Innovation|Paper|PROJECT|Renewable Energy|Solar|System

Stellenbosch, German universities to develop electric tractor

25th August 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Stellenbosch University’s (SU’s) Department of Industrial Engineering is partnering with the Technical University of Munich, in Germany, to develop an electric tractor (e-tractor).

The SU team, consisting largely of postgraduate students, is headed by Professor Thinus Booysen, who holds the research chair in the Internet of Things.

Booysen says the project is part of a bigger project within the European Union (EU) to develop a standalone solar charging system with inverters and batteries attached to an e-tractor, to ensure an off-grid agricultural solution.

The tractor will be aimed at subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Current expectations are for the unit to utilise a 50 kWh battery for a range of 80 km before recharging is required.

“We are currently designing the concept tractor. We aim to have this done – on paper – by the end of the year,” says Booysen.

“We hope to then secure funding to build a prototype vehicle.”

A team from SU will soon depart for Munich.

The project is currently funded by the EU and South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation through LEAP-RE, the Europe-Africa Partnership for Renewable Energy, as well as the South African National Energy Development Institute.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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