Electric vehicle technology has finally come to agriculture


When you talk about electric cars, there are still those who say that this will not happen soon, and not for Russia. It is good that the number of those who think so is decreasing. It’s just that people understand where the natural evolution of the transport area is heading. Even a vote on one of the Moscow radio stations showed that about 2/3 of the current motorists say that their next, or in one car, will be electric. And this is the main thing that the very consciousness of people has changed regarding this issue. But there is a more conservative industry, with more conservative people. This is agriculture.

For almost 100 years, agriculture has been using diesel-powered tractors and combines. But the ongoing electrification of transport will undoubtedly still «cover» the segment of agricultural machinery. Already today, many well-known tractor companies, for example, Deere & Co, are creating lines of electrified equipment or modernizing diesel engine technology for hydrogen consumption, like JCB.

Today we’ll talk about the #monarch brand. This is not something glamorous, and it has nothing to do with the Russian electric car project. This is the Californian company Monarch Tractor, which from scratch, practically following the example of Tesla, began work on creating a full-fledged electric agricultural tractor.

It’s good that they don’t listen to abusers and retrogrades who would constantly say that this is impossible, stupid, and senseless, that your tractor is unnecessary and unsuitable for agriculture. Both in communication and in business, you need to stay away from such characters, and clearly follow the chosen path. And the team

In fact, the agricultural machinery market is practically a gold mine. The market for medium and heavy equipment, which is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. And add here the funds for fuel and lubricants, which are spent by producers of agricultural products. Moreover, it must be understood that it is tractors that occupy the lion’s share of the agricultural machinery market, overtaking combine harvesters in terms of the number of sales almost three times. This ratio is true for all markets for this technology. And here we are not talking about tractors that are used in the urban economy. Therefore, building a fully functional electric tractor is something that has the potential to generate multi-billion dollar profits, not to mention environmental benefits.

Apparently, based on these messages, having studied the market, Mark Schwager, who previously was engaged in the design and construction of the #tesla gigafactory in Nevada, created the Monarch Tractor company. Now under his supervision is not such a huge complex as Tesla Gigafactory, Monarch Tractor has about 3000 m2 of area near the California Venthe vineyards (named after their owner). It is in these vineyards that the first Monarch MK-V electric tractors are tested.

On its site, Monarch Tractor housed a company office, a research and development laboratory, and a manufacturing plant for the machines themselves.

As stated above, # Venthe vineyards, located about 50 km east of the San Francisco Bay, became the first test base for the Monarch electric tractors. Their work shift starts at 4 a.m. and lasts approximately 10 hours. They make as much noise as a toaster, while zero harmful emissions. In addition, on tractors, a system of autonomous work is being worked out, for example, at the moment by processing with fungicides.

Technical details for the tractor

That is, while the tractor is working in the field, the second battery pack is on a fast charge. When the energy in the tractor batteries runs out, it drives up to an impromptu charging and exchange station at the edge of the field or in a garage at # mts (machine-tractor station), and the battery is simply replaced. Thus, during the sowing or harvesting season, he can work around the clock, and seven days a week. And since it is also unmanned (optional), only its operators near the computer will change. The unmanned Monarch MK-V provides a suite of cameras, lidars and radars located around the perimeter of the roof.

You have to understand that # agriculture is much more than harvesting wheat or potatoes. This is also, of course, sowing, this is harrowing, hilling, mowing, spraying and many other works. And many jobs do not require heavy-duty heavy tractors or combines. In fact, # the harvesters only work when harvesting. And all the rest of the work is done on tractors.

The economy is obvious here. Electric # tractors will enable agriculture to become a profitable industry. Farmers are constantly talking about the disparity in prices for their products with # of fuels and lubricants. And add here also the repair of diesel equipment. Electric tractors, precisely with the technology of quick battery change, will become the technical basis of agriculture in the future. It’s unavoidable. This must be understood. Those who are the first to start production of such equipment in Russia, and who are the first to start using them in the field, will become the new leaders of the industry.

By the way, Monarch Tractor isn’t the only company that makes electric tractors. But we will tell about others in the following materials …

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