Weidemann’s first electrically powered farm loader - the 1160 eHoftrac® - was launched on the market in 2014 as a forerunner in this modern type of drive system. The vehicle has been in series production since April 2015, is widely used in the field and has now experienced its largest enhancement. Starting 2017, the eHoftrac® will feature a high-quality AGM battery produced by the company Hoppecke. AGM stands for “absorbent glass mat” - in this type of battery, the electrolyte is bonded in a non-woven material made from fibre glass. The system is thus leak-proof thanks to its sealed battery box. The battery is less sensitive to temperature changes and generates less heat while charging and during operation.
There is a decreased need for ventilation which ensures more safety during loading procedures. There is also no longer the need to refill the system with distilled water.
As before, there are two performance levels: the standard battery features 48V and supplies 240 Ah, an optional battery raises the 48V to 310 Ah. The new AGM battery thus provides a whole range of benefits when handling the 1160 eHoftrac® machine: enhanced effectiveness and better performance while retaining the same capacity, as well as improved recuperation capability (energy recovery). The AGM battery features an integrated “onboard” charging unit meaning there is no longer the need to maintain fixed charging stations on site. Charging is simple and requires a 230 Volt plug with a 16-amp continuous current load.
When opting for a battery-powered vehicle, prospective customers have frequently noticed a discrepancy between the long charging times and the short run times, which often come in short bursts. The greatest advantage by far of AGM technology is that intermediate charges are possible at any time, which means the long-standing differences between charging and run time are now a thing of the past. Vehicles already in use by customers can also be retrofitted with new AGM technology, such as if batteries are due for replacement.