Sustainable development is sweeping the globe, with environmentally-friendly options now available for everything from utensils to electric vehicles (EVs). And with governments and consumers alike clamoring for more sustainable tech, manufacturers are branching out to new sectors that can benefit from greener technology — most notably, agriculture. In particular, manufacturers have been eager to create electric tractors to make farming more sustainable.
Electric tractors were conceptualized to lower the carbon emissions of farming machinery. And the potential of this market is so vast that it’s expected to help push the tractor market to a value of $98 billion by 2030.
But what exactly is so appealing about the e-tractor? How can it promote more sustainable farming practices? We dive into these questions below.
The merits of an electric tractor
Battery weight is one of the most prevalent issues in EVs today. Electricity is less energy-dense than gas, and so batteries cause EVs to be heavier than non-electric counterparts. In electric cars and trucks, this can pose safety issues to passengers. In a tractor, however, this can actually increase traction, making it work more effectively.
Another factor that contributes to e-tractors’ efficiency is that all the energy they produce goes directly to work. Minimal energy is lost between the battery and the movement of the tractor, and a printed circuit board with high power integrity further enables optimal performance for hours on end. Conversely, diesel in a conventional tractor’s engine needs to be ignited through heat, so energy is lost before the tractor even moves.
Since e-tractors don’t have to work to ignite the gas, their engines also have fewer moving parts. You can expect to pay less on maintenance –– especially if you care for the battery. This includes not fully charging it between discharge cycles, and keeping tractors away from extreme temperatures. Even when you do need to replace the battery, you shouldn’t need to do anything else.
The electric tractor and sustainable farming
Today, agriculture is dealing with a labor shortages, the climate crisis, and government-sponsored sustainable initiatives. E-tractors can help farmers meet all these challenges head-on.
For those interested, agriculture company Solectrac currently offers 30, 40, and 70 hp models for use in vineyards and orchards, while AGCO’s 100 hp e-tractor charges 80% in just 40 minutes and can work for 10 consecutive hours.
Other manufacturers are going even further with the integration of “smart” features. We’ve previously written about the complex software calibration being developed by Volvo Penta, which aims to optimize system behavior not just in e-tractors, but in a vast array of electric farming equipment. Meanwhile, Monarch Tractor recently won big at the AgTech Breakthrough Awards for a driver-optional tractor equipped with AI-driven safety systems.
With all these advancements, it’s clear that e-tractors can help reduce emissions, compensate for lost labor, and meet the demand for more sustainably grown produce. If you’re looking for ways to move your farming practices into the 21st century, e-tractors are the way to go.