LIVERMORE, Calif. – August 29, 2022 – Yes, we'll be talking about a tractor, precisely the kind you'd see on a ranch or in the middle of a field, working hard, doing what tractors do best. However, I wouldn't be taking time off your hands just to discuss any old tractor; the MK-V is top-of-the-line and possibly comes across as more advanced than the vehicle you currently drive.
Before I go on about an electronic farmhand and what it can do for you if you own a farm or work the fields, it should help to know a bit about the hearts and minds behind this creation, Monarch Tractor. This crew initially began as a start-up, and after landing a $61 million deal, they quickly got to work and delivered the machine they promised, and oh, what a machine.
Folks, we're looking at an all-electric wheat-picker that can operate for up to 10 hours or more, features a peak output of 70 hp, and a recharge time of up to six hours. Why is this a big deal? Oh, you're going to love this. Based on information published in a report carried out by the International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), the "best-in-class E.U. tractor-trailer" came across burning up 29.9 liters (7.89 gallons) of fuel over the course of 100 kilometers (62 miles). The U.S. isn't very far behind on these numbers either, showing up to the game with a consumption of 30.1 liters (7.95 gallons) per 100 kilometers (62 miles).
Some quick math gives us around 7.7 miles to the gallon. If your tractor drives 7.7 mph and is out in the fields for 10 hours, how many gallons of fuel will it have used up? Do that round the clock for months on end and watch how much money a $50K (€50K at current exchange rates) electric tractor can save you. Advice: If you want this bugger to cost you as little as possible, rig your farm to operate on solar power.
Diving deeper into all that is this wonderful bucket of bolts, there's a whole lot of magic you can't see. Luckily, the MK-V can see you, so your safety isn't at any risk. I mean to say that there are an array of sensors, circuit boards, chips, and software that allows the MK-V to "scout" everything in its path and even behind it and identify objects, be they standing still or in motion.
Remember, this is a tool to be used on a farm, so part of what it can do is analyze a smorgasbord of information that, sometimes, isn't visible to the human eye. Yes, the MK-V can analyze soil and plant moisture levels, assess pest encroachment, and even identify issues in roots and/or fruits, signaling when things are nice and ripe or how you need them to be for the business you carry out. Oh, and of course, you get detailed reports of it all.
I nearly forgot to mention one crucial aspect of this trinket. I want you to imagine that you're out in the field fixing a fence and because of how this planet rotates, your light source suddenly shifts to the one and only nightly celestial bulb we have, the moon. What do you do? Do you abandon work and risk the cattle foraging on the neighbor's greener pasture? Or do you simply flip a switch on your MK-V and use it as a generator? You pick.
Now, it's not over, either. Just this year, Monarch Tractor shook hands with Hon Hai (Foxconn) to put the MK-V into "full-rate production" by Q1 of 2023. Oh, and all of this is happening in the heart of the U.S. at Foxconn's Ohio facility; 6.2 million square feet of hardware, strong hands, bright brains, and a will to change how we farm and nourish ourselves.
Listen, for someone like myself, who grew up plowing fields with a horse and cutting down corn with a sickle, putting up fencing with a hammer and nail, and picking fruits with a burlap sack, this stuff is pretty amazing; that's all I have to say about that. As a mic drop, this thing is autonomous, and a driver is only optional.