Deere to produce fuel cell technology demonstrator

Deere & Co., Moline, Ill., last week announced it is working with Hydrogenics Corp., a Canadian fuel cell manufacturer, to develop a technology demonstrator fuel cell-powered Commerical Work Vehicle.

Deere shared plans for the vehicle at last week’s Electric Transportation Industry Conference and Exposition in Hollywood, Fla. The demonstrator was a modified John Deere Pro-Gator Utility Vehicle.

“This vehicle will serve as a technology guide as John Deere moves forward with electrification of its products,” said Bruce Wood, director of the company’s ePower Technologies group, which plans to test the fuel cell-powered CWV at demonstration sites across the U.S. starting in the spring of 2003.

Wood said Deere is undertaking several electrification initiatives including the use of advanced battery technologies, diesel- and gasoline-hybrid electric technologies and hydrogen fuel cell technologies to add performance and efficiency capabilities to existing products.

Though Deere’s initial prototypes and demonstrators are in the smaller turf care products, the company believes the technology will eventually be applied in larger equipment as well. Deere offered no specific timetable for more widespread use of electric vehicles. However, Wood said, the company believes use of the technologies in its off-road equipment offers the best opportunity to commercialize significant numbers of electric vehicles.

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