Tractor News Viable Electric Tractor?

   / Viable Electric Tractor? #101  


Platinum Member
Nov 5, 2020
Deere 3032e
Do some reading on Tesla's Semi, that's probably where we're heading with tractors. The only hold up right now is cell production but that's coming maybe this year but probably next. Autonomous driving, half the energy costs vs diesel, far less maintenance, 500 mile range and an 80% recharge in 30 minutes. And that's with today's technology - in 20 years those metrics will seem quaint. It's the real deal and companies from Fedex to Walmart have already placed orders. Of course the market for road vehicles is far bigger so that's where you're going to see the major advances but it will quickly filter down to tractors as well, the only real question is how long it will take. I fully expect that my grandkids generation will view diesel engines the same way people view landlines and typewriters today.
   / Viable Electric Tractor? #102  


Platinum Member
Jun 27, 2006
Delaware County Catskills NY
NH Workmaster 40, Kubota GR2120
Dear MOF,

Even when using juice from coal burning plants, EVs are cleaner than ICE vehicles, and that's for gasoline. For diesel, it's probably better still.

Yep. If you only look for an exhaust pipe. There's an awful lot of Mother Earth being ruined in the race for batteries, solar panels and other stuff. Check this report:

EVs and even ETs will be the wave of the future. Much depends on your age. I'm 70, and likely will miss out for the most part, but 10 years from now, the cost of parts for diesel compacts will make it impossible for them to compete with electrics.

I'm 71 and have seen predictions of global cooling, global warming, lunar colonies, depletion of oil and gas, etc. And don't forget flying cars. Many of these had "scientists" behind the claims.

Battery weight is a plus in many tractor applications, unlike for cars.

Some owners complain their small tractors weigh too much already.

But one thing you failed to consider: With the price of rooftop solar going down all the time, anyone who is going to blow $25K or more on an ET should certainly be considering rooftop solar to power their EVs and ETs.

It would require a lot of study, but it's possible that if one were to spend many thousands of dollars on a solar roof it may be more beneficial to sell your power to the grid and buy diesel anyway.

And don't forget the extra trips to town for diesel and lugging it filling the tractor etc - no more.

I don't make extra trips for diesel, milk or bread. If you run the batteries too low out on the lower 40, phone someone to bring you a gallon of electrons:)

Maintenance of ETs will be much less. How many gallons does a HST tractor need in hydro fluid? An ET would only need enough for hydraulic implements. There's like 5-10 gallons less of oil every 300 hours or so. No transmission to worry about. Probably no complicated clutches either.

There could be fewer moving parts in an EV, but batteries don't last forever and we all know how expensive it is to have more electronics that are on board. the HVAC on an EV may be interesting to maintain in the long run.

Electric tractors are the future for those under 60 years of age now, and it's an exciting one! Disclaimer: I have a massive, lol, investment of $500 in Solectrac.

Your dream might not be realistic, but go with it if it makes you happy:) I'd congratulate you if that $500 turns into $5,000,000.
Global warming on a massive scale is an established fact now, not a conjecture. The so-called "debate" over whether human fossil fuel burning is causing it is a joke. Hundreds of millions of tons of KNOWN greenhouse gases every year are definitely causing it. Is it 100%? That, we don't know. What we DO know is that even if it's not, reducing human use of fossil fuels is good for the health of the human species AND the planet apart from Climate Change. It also means more years of fossil fuels available for future generations. They might only need 10% of what we use, but if we don't leave it, they won't have it.
What we do know is that the current price of fossil fuels in unrealistically low, especially in the USA.
Weight of batteries in MOST tractor applications is a plus. For those who want to cut lawns, larger/wider tires can compensate. But yes, in SOME applications where a lighter tractor is wanted, an ICE engine might be practical in the future.
As far as the environmental threats of EVs and ETs, that's mostly a lot of nonsense. The pictures of Copper mines, claiming that they're lithium mines has been shown to be a lie. China has lots of huge piles and pools of toxic waste, plenty of it as a result of fossil fuel extraction.
But yes, Solar panels can easily and affordably charge an Electric Tractor NOW, when compared with the cost of diesel. And that comparison is only going to swing harder to solar in the future.
My $500 is unlikely to run into anything big in my lifetime, and I'll miss most of the transformation of the ICE engine to electric and sustainable power, but yes, it's one of the few things in the past half century where human progress is actually alive and well, and it does make me happy.

   / Viable Electric Tractor? #103  


Gold Member
Jul 26, 2018
Property is in Floyd County VA
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
The irony of things is that power generation by solar and wind will not likely ever meet the demand. Studies show this to be fact. That being true, how do environmentalists plan to stop the heating of our atmosphere and the polluting of our atmosphere with hydrocarbons?

Nucs were a solution that had environmental issues with the waste.. .but, they did not have any carbon emitting issues. They did have the problem of heating the environment and the waters near the plants. (But so do all the fossil fuel generating plants) The environmentalists have killed the nuc power industry. No New Nucs. 3 events in the world that I know of killed the industry: Three mile island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima

Since we only have fossil fuel generation that can meet the demand, how do we make such big predictions that we will not be emitting hydrocarbons? The logic escapes me. Not one environmentalist who is pushing EV has been able to articulate that they understand the issue of generating the power needed to run millions of EVs. They point to Solar and Wind and Water...
Solar panels can easily and affordably charge an Electric Tractor NOW
Really? Solar can generate 75KWhours of power and dump it into a vehicle battery overnight? How long will that take? Can you cite one instance where this has been demonstrated and accomplished? Not in a lab... on a real vehicle in use everyday? I'd be real interested in that data. Connected to the grid a 75KWhour dump on the fast chargers takes 40 minutes on average. Is solar really capable of delivering that kind of power now? (Connected to a standard home 120v setup, the 75KWhour dump takes 8-9 hours)

What about all the batteries needed? The tech so far seems to be aligned with some very nasty materials to make batteries. What will we do with all the used batteries? Answer: we'll develop technology to re-cycle them and re-use them. Hmm.. used batteries from Hybrids have been accumulating awaiting a solution to the disposal problem. . and that has been going on for 20 years now... We don't have recycling capability. We will be dumping nasties into the earth.

Evolution of technology will improve all things with the EV industry. Of this I have no doubt. Those who see EV as the savior of our environment, I simply ask that you open your eyes and see the whole picture. We have much to do to bring your dream of no global warming through implementation of the EV technology to fruition. We're just shifting the burden from individual vehicles to the power industry. We will still be burning fossil fuels to power these EVs and we will be burning more in the power plants than we do now.

Every problem we face, has trade-offs. Choosing a direction that does less harm is prudent and wise. The real question is are we choosing that better direction? Will EVs truly be less harmful or are they just changing the harm to a new potential problem?
   / Viable Electric Tractor? #104  


Elite Member
Apr 7, 2002
Lancaster County, PA
Kubota L4240, Ford 1210
Global warming and global cooling have been happening long before the industrial revolution. There's glacial rubble far down past the Northern border of the USofA. Those crazy cavemen must have had some impressive campfires to get the glaciers to recede so far. The earth has been changing since God created it. Silly humans think that change should stop right at the moment that suits THEM. Go with the flow:)

No, I don't think we should dump leftover paint in the river or any such thing. Yes, I do believe that many people somehow believe that their impact on the planet is far greater than it really is. One good volcanic eruption or a decent-sized meteorite and the game changes significantly.
   / Viable Electric Tractor? #105  

Phil Timmons

Silver Member
Mar 18, 2008
Lot of mis-information on this thread.

Some updates from 2021

EVs only use about 250 watt-hours per mile. Means for Retail Electricity (13 cents, US average kWh) compared to Retail Gasoline (about $2.50 to $3.00 US Average) . . . Electricity cost less than 1/3 to 1/4 of Gasoline. Numbers are even better for Diesel. If you charge from local Solar PV, the EV can drive for Zero Fuel Costs.

The US 2020 Grid Generation was about: 40% Gas, 20% Renewables, 20% Nukes, and a little under 20% Coal. Coal is dropping like a Rock, and Silicon Solar PV is just about all that is being built for the next 3 years (looking at permits for 2021 - 2024).

Actual losses from Electricity Transmission and Distribution are about 5%, US Average.

Full construction and install costs for New Solar is:
$3 per Watt (or less) for Rooftop Residential
$2 per Watt (or less) for Commercial
$1 per Watt for Utility Scale.

Wholesale Solar PV Generation is going for as low as 1.5 cents per kWh, all Capital recovery, all expenses, operations and maintenance included.

We can run the whole US Grid from Silicon Solar PV. Yes, the whole thing. Not really a good design to single source things, but yes we can, for less cost than the present or other options ahead. Since this can all be placed on existing "Manmade Impervious Surface" (fancy words for Rooftops, Parking Lots, etc), this can use little to no additional land space.

All Ground Transportation can be moved to Electricity and only increase total Electricity Use by about 10%. As this would spread across 20 years or more, this is 1/2% per year. This is barely noticeable, as we plan on a 1 to 2% growth per year.

Big Batteries are likely a "pass-through" phase as Electric Roadways (power comes from Road) improve and expand. Electric Roadways will allow the various .gov(s) who own maintain the roads (Fed, State, Local) to get the retail mark-up for Electricity and fully fund the system, as well as fully replace current Fuel Taxes, while costing EV owner-operators less than 1/2 of present ICE fuel costs.

Here are some samples:

Future of Electric Tractors may be connected, rather than batteries, as well. Sample here >>>