John Deere PD400 Inverters Power Fuso eCanter Electric Trucks

JUN 22 2018 BY MARK KANE 7

John Deere Electronic Solutions (JDES) surprised by becoming supplier of the PD400 inverter for Fuso eCanter electric trucks produced by Daimler’s subsidiary.

John Deere PD400 Single inverter

It could be a sign that John Deere is more and more interested in electrification too. In 2016, the company unveiled an all-electric farm tractor.

Read Also – Daimler Begins Deliveries Of First FUSO eCanter Electric Trucks In Europe

The PD400 comes in various versions, depending on requirements and also in case of eCanter there was special version developed for higher performances. Electric motor in eCanter is 129 kW.

John Deere PD400 Single inverter spec:

  • Continuous Current: 400 Arms
  • Peak Current: 550 Arms
  • Power up to 300 kVA

Recently first 12 eCanter were delivered to the Netherlands (PostNL, the logisticians Albert Heijn B.V., Cornelissen Groep B.V. and Technische Unie B.V. as well as the biggest online marketplace in foodservice, Bidfood B.V.), which is one of the first countries to get electric Fuso trucks.

Battery capacity of between 42 to 84 kWh is good for up to 100 km (62 miles).

“The JDES PD400 is a rugged, off the shelf inverter that has been proven in use at John Deere and in other off-road OEM applications. The flexible PD400 software provides a broad set of features and tunings that allow the eCanter electric drive system to optimize efficiency and performance.

The eCanter requirements demanded very high peak torque under difficult operating conditions. In response, JDES completed a detailed drive cycle analysis that incorporated the thermal characteristics of the inverter. The result was a software upgrade that increased boost currents to 50% above previously rated limits for short periods of time all while maintaining reliability goals.

John Deere PD400 Dual inverter

JDES resources were also utilized in the execution of ECE-R85 electric powertrain homologation testing. The traction motor, PD400 inverter, and the reference vehicle cooling system were assembled at JDES labs in Fargo, ND USA. The 30 minute power test and the net power test were witnessed by a third party to validate applicable torque and power claims for the eCanter.”

David Gordon, Business Development Manager at JDES said:

“Working with Fuso on the global eCanter project is very exciting. A cooperative nature and commitment to success is what we have in common.”

Lars Schroeter, Head of xEV Powertrain Systems for Fuso commented:

“We sought out John Deere as an inverter supplier from their reputation for quality and integrity. After working with JDES we certainly see they deliver to this promise.”

Categories: Daimler, Trucks

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7 Comments on "John Deere PD400 Inverters Power Fuso eCanter Electric Trucks"

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“• Continuous Current: 400 Arms
• Peak Current: 550 Arms”

Is “Arms” some new current measurement? Or maybe this is due to a spell-checker gone awry (Amps -> Arms)


I think it’s Amperes RMS.

Magnus H

RMS = Root Mean Square, an average of a varying quantity.

Bill Howland

Not to split hairs but the RMS value of a Peak Sinusoidal waveform is 0.707, while the average is 0.637. Its a relational term in that a simple device like a light bulb will produce the same amount of light at 120 volts RMS as 120 volts direct current. Average here simply is its totalized absolute values while non-zero, as some wise guy will no doubt say the ‘real average’ is zero (taking into account positive and negative alternations, as it is ‘alternating current’ after all).

The reason for the difference is the power level at the peak is double the DC level, as the power follows a square law.

Example: A 100 watt lightbulb at the peak draws 200 watts (assuming the power line frequency is fast enough not to cause resistance changes in the bulb’s filament, a reasonable assumption for anything above 25 HZ).

John Doe

Cool, I didn’t see that coming. This may be a new business area for John Deere.
With suppliers like that, electrification may be easier and cheaper for others too.
Late, if parts need to be changed, more sources for the same parts will make them cheaper too.


Other than acquisition costs, a BEV tractor seems ideal. Instant torque and plenty of it, AWD possibility, simple PTO capability, greater reliability, lower cost of operation and the added weight of the battery pack is a benefit, not a liability. Since tractors work more on schedules then passenger cars do, I would think charging wouldn’t be a big deal. Endurance might be a problem though.

John Doe

Tractor motors have been super reliable over the years. Easy to maintain and fairly cheap parts. Electronics and GPS systems are very expensive.
Hybrid tractors would be a good deal for some farmers too.