Steven Heckeroth, Californian inventor, founder and CEO of “Solectrac”, unveiled the electric tractor at the 2019 Canada’s Farm Progress Show.
Heckeroth believe that tractors are adapted to use the electric traction. He has more than 25 years of experience building zero energy homes and electric vehicles, and work in the field to reduce the fossil fuels use.
I thought food is pretty important, so we ought to have a tractor that can work after fossil fuels – Heckeroth said at the second day of Farm Progress. The electric tractor is a perfect solution for growing food without pollution and without greenhouse gas emissions.
Solectrac electric tractor has been an essential piece of the show because is an incoming innovation, said an organizer of Canada’s Farm Progress Show.
He’s got a great tractor that’s very quiet, no pollution, so I think it’s going to be what a lot of the smaller farms are going to be looking at within their operation – said Shirley Janeczko, the show manager of Farm Progress.
The weight of the batteries isn’t a problem in a tractors in the opinion of Heckeroth.
The battery weight was always the biggest problem but a tractor needs weight for traction – Heckeroth told CTV News.
In any case, develop the electric tractor hasn’t been easy and the CEO said that he wants to resolve some small problems before the launch of the tractor.
There’s a lot of electronic components that are sensitive to moisture, so I’m running into that problem for the first time now, which is totally solvable – Heckeroth said. You can enclose things so moisture won’t bother them, but this is more of a prototype and we’re just getting ready to go into production.
The Soletrac electric tractor catched the attention of many farmers at the show, that asked a lot of questions about range, time to charge and how much it costs.
Heckeroth says that Solectrac can work eighth hours on a full charge or around four with a rototiller attached, it takes about three hours to charge up and runs around $40,000, a cost Heckeroth hopes to see lowered as the technology develops.
With the development of lithium, it’s still pretty expensive, but the cost is coming down. I think eventually this tractor will sell for the same price as diesel.
Right now, Solectrac’s focus is on smaller farming operations like vineyards, but Heckeroth anticipates electric tractors will see a major increase in use in the next five years as a result of efforts to reduce emissions in the industry – and hopes to be one company leading the charge into a potential new age of agriculture.