Today’s Solutions: February 08, 2023

American drivers have plenty of options when it comes to electric cars, but what about farmers? The electrification of the agricultural industry is a lucrative and relatively untapped market. However, first, the technology needs to be sold to farmers, many of whom are hesitant about the switch. 

This is where Robert Wallace, an expert on electric tech, comes in. He is offering farms in Oregon free test runs of tractors from California-based startup Solectrac and outfitting them with data-gathering sensors to prove the tech. 

Companies like Solectrac and Monarch are producing models of small tractors meant for farmers of berry farms, vineyards, and hobby farms. These tractors offer farmers long battery life, low carbon emissions, and even autonomous vehicles from Monarch. 

With increasing fuel prices, big and small farmers alike are struggling to power their fossil-fuel-fed tractors and work their farms. Some large farms wind up spending between $2000 and $3000 a day on fuel alone. And all of this isn’t to mention the environmental damage done by carbon emissions. 

An electric tractor for Solectrac would cost farmers more up front, but over a year would more or less break even with what a fossil-fuel tractor would cost in gas. One study from Cadeo Group, a clean-energy consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon actually found that an electric tractor would save up to $3000 a year. 

While the farming industry is a long way off from getting rid of gas tractors entirely, many have taken notice of the market opportunity. Monarch raised $60 million from investors, and Solectrac was recently bought by Ideanomics, a publicly traded electric vehicle firm.

For electric tractors to take off, though, first the farmers need to be won over. Many of them believe that the electric infrastructure isn’t there yet and understandably worry about their tractors breaking down miles into a farm without a power source. Robert Wallace understands this hesitance and is expanding his program to offer a wider range of equipment to a wider range of farmers, showing that the market and the farms are going green. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

How to host a more sustainable super bowl party

This year, the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee in collaboration with NFL Green is working together to make this year’s Super Bowl as sustainable ...

Read More

Let’s embrace the Swedish winter tradition of “little Saturday”

In northern Sweden, where the winter season means up to 20 hours of darkness a day, staying positive during colder months is tough, but ...

Read More

$1 billion to be invested in cleaning up Great Lakes

The US Great Lakes are treasured and iconic wonders of North America's natural splendor. Countless families and individuals flock there for fun and thousands ...

Read More

Be intentional about respecting wildlife by keeping these 4 things in mind

This year, if you are striving to be more considerate of wildlife while on your summer travels and hikes, but still want to enjoy, ...

Read More