Charging Ahead: The Electrification of FarmingMarch 7, 2023
LIVERMORE, Calif. – March 7, 2023 – When you hear the term “electric vehicle” most of us envision sleek cars zipping silently down the highway. However, the next frontier in EV technology is not on the road, but in fields, orchards, and barns with electric tractors for farming. Spurred by global environmental concerns as well as farmers’ demand for cleaner and safer agricultural production practices and energy savings, here’s why electrification of agricultural equipment is already here and growing.
You’ve already heard about reduced emissions. So, what else?
Performance & Torque — Battery-electric vehicles always win when it comes to torque performance. Electric motors allow drivers to reach maximum torque instantly. As a result, EV powertrains offer elevated drivability with quicker accelerations, and more responsive handling in comparison to conventional diesel tractors.
Maintenance & Service — EVs (including an electric tractor) typically require less maintenance than diesel vehicles due to having fewer moving parts compared to diesel engines. This feature saves a farmer time and money. In general, EVs use 90% fewer moving parts than a diesel tractor. Over a 3-year period, the average service and maintenance cost for EVs are 23% less than a diesel equivalent (Source: Cap HPI). Less time in the shop means more time for critical operations and less money spent on repairs and maintenance. Double win!
Cost Savings — Surging diesel prices are top-of-mind for every farmer. Moving to battery-powered EV technology gives farmers significant reductions in fuel costs over the life of the machine when compared with diesel-powered equipment of the same capacity. Additionally, with a growing movement towards electrification in agriculture, especially with tractors for farming, many new incentive programs are becoming available for farmers who are looking to upgrade their diesel tractors to electric alternatives. These government incentives for zero-emission equipment help farmers save on input costs.
The road to electrification has a few challenges. But not for long.
Lack of charging infrastructure — One of the biggest barriers to widespread EV adoption is the lack of nationwide charging infrastructure. Increasing government initiatives and bills like the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure for Farmers Act are helping facilitate the infrastructure needed to transition away from combustion engine agricultural machines.
“Whether on the farm or in town, we must seek to drive economic development through electrification," says Joe Britton, the Executive Director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association (Source: ZETA).
Run time & charging time concerns — For electric machinery to be competitive against their diesel counterparts, farmers must be able to get a full day’s work out of the battery before returning to home base. New industry-leading battery technology like that of the Monarch Tractor offers a runtime of 14+ hours (varies based on farm, operation, and implement). And for those days that require operations to extend into the night, Monarch’s swappable battery will make a 24-hour operation a reality.
Farmer adoption & buy-in — Farmers are clamoring for practical solutions and increased ROI. Electrification is answering their call. IDTechEx predicts the market for EVs in agriculture, construction, and mining could grow to $100 billion annually (Source: Farm Equipment). The shift is happening and we’re seeing farmers eager to be early adopters and reap the benefits.
Feeling electrified about the future of farming? Charge ahead!
With the development of electric farm tractors, the numerous opportunities that EV vehicles bring to a community are no longer limited to the cities. Farms and rural America get to enjoy the benefits in a way that serves their unique needs and increases their energy independence.
“The traditional diesel tractor has not evolved in 100 years, making it long overdue for a makeover. An EV tractor is a must for farmers looking to cut fuel costs and dependency on oil, and reduce their carbon footprint,” says Monarch co-founder and President, Mark Schwager in an interview with TechBullion.
Ready to charge into the future of electric-powered farming? Connect with a Monarch Specialist and learn more about how driver-optional, electric tractors can elevate your Ag business.