Electric Tractors Enter The Ag Marketplace
This article was developed by Stephen Heckeroth, Founder and CEO of Solectrac, with contributions from Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics.
The future for electric tractors on U.S. farms looks bright, with two electric models by Solectrac recently introduced to the agricultural marketplace, the eUtility and the Compact Electric Tractor. Each one is designed to fit in the below-40HP market segment and is a fit for small farm operations, vineyards, orchards, equestrian centers and greenhouses.
Runtime for the eUtility tractor is between 4 and 8 hours with a 28 kWh battery pack, depending on the load. The Compact Electric Tractor runtime is between 3 and 6 hours, with a 22 kWh battery pack, depending on load.
Runtime for both tractors can be extended with optional, exchangeable battery packs, the company says. Batteries typically have a 10-year life span, pending operating cycles and depth of discharge.
Solectrac, based in California, is the first North American electric tractor company manufacturing and distributing 100% battery-powered, all-electric tractors.
"Solectrac has built a business based on the real-world needs of farmers and the agricultural industry, blending those with clean energy ideals and practical applications of modern technology," says Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics. A global company that facilitates the adoption of commercial electric vehicles and supports next-generation fintech products, Ideanomics made a strategic investment in Solectrac, which was founded in 2012, that will further stimulate the future manufacturing of electric tractors.
“Solectrac is naturally a great fit for our specialty vehicle and heavy truck division, Medici Motor Works,” Poor adds. “Since we entered the electric vehicle space in 2018, we’ve gained a lot of experience from OEMs, supply chain partners, and manufacturers, all of which will help Solectrac improve its manufacturing processes, lower production costs, and scale quickly to meet anticipated market demand." ?
In addition to charging from the electrical grid, Soectrac says electric tractors can be powered by clean renewable energy such as wind and solar, providing farmers with the option of independence from infrastructure constraints and the price volatility associated with fossil fuels. Electric vehicles also have significantly fewer parts, reducing the time and cost of the complex maintenance needed to keep fossil-fueled engines running. For farmers using tractors powered by internal combustion engines, this value proposition to convert to electric is compelling, Solectrac leadership reports.
The global agricultural tractor market is currently valued at $75 billion, with the North American agricultural tractor market expected to reach $20 billion by 2024, according to the Research And Markets research firm.