You cannot deny the growing popularity of electric vehicles. In a survey, more than half of the respondents said that they would consider buying an electric vehicle. And the popularity of electric vehicles doesn’t end with the road. Electric utility vehicles are popping up everywhere. Plus, Australian farmers are beginning to see the benefits of using electric tractors instead of the more traditional diesel ones.
Should you consider an electric tractor for your farm? Read on to find out why making the switch could be a good idea.
1. Repair and Maintenance
As any farmer knows, a reliable tractor is very important. When you have work to do in the field, the last thing you want to be doing is fixing your tractor.
Electric tractor engines have far fewer moving parts than a diesel one. Fewer moving parts mean fewer things that can go wrong which, of course, translates to less time spent getting your tractor to work, and more time putting it to good use.
2. Going Green
Electric tractors put off far fewer emissions than their stinky diesel counterparts. Some models boast an 80 per cent reduction! That’s quite significant when we’re talking about the future of our planet.
That’s not even taking into consideration the fuel required to transport the diesel you need to your farm. You can argue that it requires fuel and energy to get the electricity there too.
No law says the electricity you use in your electric tractor has to come from the electric company. You can charge your electric tractor using solar power. Thus, if you have your solar power system set up on your farm, your electricity bills become minimal or even non-existent.
Diesel engines are not nearly as efficient as electric ones. Chew on this; a diesel engine only gets about a 45 per cent efficiency rate when converting thermal energy to mechanical. That’s pretty poor performance no matter how you look at it.
The electric motor, on the other hand, touts a 90 per cent efficiency rate. Of course, you also have to factor in charging the batteries, which has about an 80 per cent efficiency rating. Even so, an electric motor’s efficiency still beats the pants off a diesel engine.
4. Operating Costs
Perhaps the most crucial consideration when buying a tractor for any farmer is the cost of running it. You want to turn a good profit, and to do that; you need to keep your running costs as low as possible.
An electric tractor can make all the difference.
Because of its higher efficiency, you have to pay for less energy to run it. Some models boast a 30 to 50 per cent reduction in energy costs.
Some people may wonder about the price of electricity once everyone starts making the shift. However, as we’ve already mentioned, you can use solar power to create the energy necessary for charging your tractor.
If you’re planning to set up your farm with solar panels anyway, you won’t be spending any extra and operating costs for your tractor will be negligible. You can’t complain about that!
5. Greater Accuracy in Automation
Hydrostatic or mechanical drive motors (diesel engines) don’t have the highest precision in the world. Electric motors, on the other hand, enable a more accurate system.
Take precision seeding, for example. Some electric systems boast a seeding accuracy to within one centimetre even when you’re trucking along at 20 kph. Imagine trying to get that kind of precision with a diesel tractor!
This greater accuracy means you spend less time in the field on menial tasks like seeding. We don’t have to tell you what an advantage that is.
6. Fresh Air
Working outdoors in the right conditions is a lovely experience. The soft rays of the spring sun kiss your skin. The breeze tousles your hair.
As you work the land, you have time to think and reflect on life.
Then the breeze dies down, and you notice that thick stench of diesel fuel in the air.
Wait. What? Yep, there’s nothing like diesel fumes to ruin a pleasant working experience.
Also, consider the fact that diesel fumes are toxic and can kill you in an enclosed space. Of course, you’re working out in the field, so you probably don’t have to worry about breathing enough fumes to kill you. But it still isn’t right for you in general.
With an electric tractor, you don’t have to worry about this. It’s also a lot quieter, so you can think and reflect much more peacefully as you go about your work.