Seederal wants to electrify tractors – Le Journal des Entreprises
For the Finistère start-up Seederal, the year 2023 must be that of the first prototype of its electric tractor. Created in February 2021 by Arthur Rivoal and Antoine Venet, the company raised 1.2 million euros in December 2022 from Épopée Gestion, Breizh Up and the Jeriko investor club. “We are entering an assembly and development phase to be able to test it in the fields this summer”, explains Arthur Rivoal.
The objective is to make the first sales in 2025. “Between the start of production, there are several stages to achieve. We have a medium-term promise, but to keep it, we must validate each of the stages. There is no question of providing farmers with a tractor that is not reliable”, insists the manager.
It would be the culmination of a long process of reflection for the former student in applied mathematics at the École Centrale. Sensitive to the challenges of energy transitions, Arthur Rivoal is looking for ways to work. He is particularly interested in the upstream of the agrifood sectors which is “rather badly off: it is essential but it is accused of all the ills”. After considering becoming a farmer, he finally finds a problem to solve: “there is currently no professional electric tractor”. The mathematician therefore decides to look into the obstacles that prevent the development of such a tool.
“The challenge mainly concerns the autonomy of such a tractor. We analyzed the uses and estimated that we needed the equivalent of a tractor with a capacity of 200 liters of diesel, i.e. approximately 2 MWh. C “It is impossible to equip a tractor with such a battery. It is therefore necessary to optimize the performance of the tractor to obtain an acceptable battery capacity”, explains the co-founder. For the production of this prototype, the company has entered into a partnership with a machinist – whose name remains secret – in the East of France.
An office in Rennes
The challenge of decarbonizing agriculture is significant. Despite rising fossil fuel prices, the agricultural machinery industry, unlike other sectors such as aviation, has not really begun its transition. Seederal therefore works with farmers to analyze their uses and best meet their needs. “For this, we must innovate and make tractors sustainable, without fossil fuels”, continues Arthur Rivoal.
Based in L’Hôpital-Camfrout, incubated at the Brest engineering school Ensta, the start-up is also supported by the Breton incubator Emergys, the Brest-Iroise technology park and by Hectar, the higher education establishment focused on entrepreneurship and agricultural transition. From a dozen employees today, the company should increase to around thirty at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024 and will seek talent beyond Finistère. “We have opened a second office in Rennes to complete the team”, says Arthur Rivoal.