Electric Tractors and Their Potential in Indian Fields

electric tractor

In the agricultural industry, the most extensively used fuel is diesel, and diesel is used to power the farms and farm equipment, and the most important of them is the farm tractor. However, from an environmental standpoint, India’s agriculture sector accounts for 16.2% of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Farm mechanization helps the  Indian agriculture industry to increase production by roughly about 40%. A country like India has to increase the mechanization and automation in its agriculture fields and which means the hiking requirements of overall energy requirements and especially diesel requirements.

Thus, in order to ensure future fuel security, we must use renewable energy sources for power generation in order to protect our environment and secure the country financially. 

However, switching totally to renewable energy sources is not easy as someone thinks. The ideal strategy is to use renewable energy sources into a few elements and gradually increase the number of areas where renewable energy could be used.

Electric tractors an Introduction

From a farmer’s perspective, he is always looking for ways to make farming easier and more economic and being innovative is the only way to attain these goals. Electric tractors are a good option since they function on batteries and require less fuel, making cultivation more conservative and economical.

The electrical energy is given by wind, sun and other renewable resources are guaranteed to be futurist options for lowering pollution and dependency on petroleum fuels.

When compared to traditional tractors, electric tractors are more environmentally friendly since they can be powered by electricity from the grid or the farmer’s own solar panels if the farmer instals a solar system on the farm. 

Additionally, electric tractors do not create a ruckus when in use, do not require additional fuel for assistance, and are significantly more capable in comparison.

Another achievement of electric tractors is the absence of smoke. The combustion of diesel tractors emits a significant quantity of greenhouse gases and electric tractors are the finest in terms of environmental protection.

Now let us have some comparison between diesel tractors and electric tractors.

1. Economics

Diesel tractors are more cost-effective than electric tractors. As an initial expenditure, the farmer needs to pay an additional 2-3 lakh for an Electric Tractor. However, the finest example of this is the cost reduction associated with the reduction of diesel consumption. As a result, the overall expenses of this electric tractor are nearly identical to those of diesel tractors.

An electric tractor may last 5-10 years and all it takes is a battery change, which is comparatively easier, less expensive and quicker, as opposed to a diesel tractor, which requires a complete engine remake after 6000 hours of use, which can be expensive, time-consuming and complex.

Apart from the direct savings from the fuel, there are other perks as well because any electric vehicle requires a minimal amount of maintenance and there would be significant savings in lubricants, tuning and adjustments.

2. Efficiency

These tractors are efficient; it gives great accuracy when it works. The diesel tractor has 35% efficiency when it converts thermal energy into mechanical energy. Compare that with the efficiency of charging or discharging batteries 80%, while electric tractors are more efficient.

When all other factors are equal, an electric tractor engine outperforms a diesel tractor engine. However, in practice, the productivity of an electric tractor and a diesel tractor on the farm is nearly the same.

From a maintenance standpoint, electric tractors have fewer moving components, which means fewer things go wrong. As a result, repair and maintenance expenses are reduced, and the tractor may function for longer periods of time.

However, due to the additional moving engine parts, diesel tractor maintenance costs are higher than electric tractor maintenance costs. Diesel tractor is fueled by diesel or gas and has transmission controlled with hydraulic system, however electric tractor is controlled by electromechanical networks which make them more responsive and precise.

Electric Tractor’s Unique Features are,

  • Farmers will save time by using an electric tractor since its motor and controls are easier.
  • Electric tractor has features like, battery swapping, regenerative braking, power reversal, rapid charging etc diesel tractors don’t have.
  • An electric tractor has a power output of 6 horsepower, which is equivalent to a 21 horsepower diesel tractor and can go 75 kilometres at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour on a single charge.
  • In a cold environment, an electric tractor’s battery can take up to eight hours to fully charge, but the battery in a contemporary force attachment can be charged in as little as two hours.
  • The electric tractor is designed with zero emission in mind, making it environmentally friendly.

Electric Tractors In India

The year 2021 is so far the best in the industry’s history. According to the Tractor and Mechanisation Association, India’s tractor market grew by 16 %to 8.59 lakh units from January to November 2021, up from 7.41 lakh units in the same period the previous year. 

The cost of agricultural products has risen dramatically in recent months as the cost of diesel has surpassed ₹100 per litre in several regions of the country. Electric tractors are expected to be the most cost-effective substitute for traditional diesel-powered tractors due to their low prices.

Punjab-based Sonalika Tractors is the only tractor company in India to have commercially launched an electric tractor in the market. Called Tiger Electric, Sonalika had introduced it in December 2020 at an introductory price of ₹5.99 lakh. Powered by an 11kW motor and having a lift capacity of 500kg the Tiger Electric is used for a variety of applications including spraying, grass cutting, rotavator and hauling a trolley.

India’s Transportation minister Nitin Gadkari had told the press that he would launch an electric tractor last year. The minister declined to name the company that would debut the electric tractor, adding that launch dates and legalities are still being finalised.