There is an intersection between agriculture, energy, finance and technology that will make a huge difference to the economy of farmers and the environment of our small planet. Gridtractor set up its position on electrifying the world’s fleet of tractors and diesel farm equipment a decade ago. There is now an opportunity to begin this transformation.
I recently spoke with David Meyers, CEO of Gridtractor, about this. He has a message (good advice) for all the top manufacturers, John Deeres in the world: “Don’t repeat the mistakes of the big car companies. If you had told General Motors 10 years ago, when Tesla was tinkering, last week’s market cap was coming in, they would have rolled over Earth laughing.” (This points to Tesla doing what it just did – reaching $1 trillion in market capitalization.) Don’t let small electric tractor manufacturers become the next Tesla when you now have a chance to switch. This is the message. At the same time, for those small companies, such as Monarch Tractor, keep up the momentum.
California is the laboratory for many technological market structures. However, farmers everywhere, who are the most independent of people, will resonate deeply with absolute independence in producing their own fuel and saving up to 75% on fuel costs. Since infrastructure is a primary problem with electric vehicles of all kinds, large farms are already ahead, as they pump water for irrigation. They can set up their own timers to use this power capacity for electric vehicles – Now is the time to recharge, now is the time to water. Here it is, everything is ready to be taken advantage of.
Myers said they would love to work with all the manufacturers, but he talked about getting the major manufacturers involved. They can help with finances and help develop the missing pieces.
David noted that in places like Africa, electrifying family farms and family farm groups is ideal for development in terms of both profits and the environment.
I have never worked on a large agricultural farm. On the small organic farm I worked on, we had a tractor, a dinosaur. Even though we seeded and weeded ourselves, we had great off-season cover crops. Someone had to plow under. As soon as my ICE tractor caught fire, me and the bees working next to me took off, or literally flew from that part of the ground. I wondered how the strategically and protectively placed crystals in the field would stop that blood emissions.
None of us were aware of the dangers of gas and oil. On any farm, especially large farms, replacing ICE tractors with electric tractors can help significantly in reducing climate change emissions and air pollution.
Electrifying a midsize tractor in California reduces carbon emissions as much as replacing 45 gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles, according to Gridtractor.
A press release from Gridtractor, a partial subsidiary of Polaris Energy Services, notes that the company’s first customer is Terranova Ranch, which intends to take further steps in sustainably protecting the planet.
Agriculture in California provides food for most of the country. Gridtractor shares that California farmers have funding opportunities to help offset electricity costs.
“For example, the San Joaquin Air Resources Board’s Farm Tractor Replacement Program provides incentive funds to replace off-road mobile equipment that participates in agricultural operations as defined by the California Air Resources Board. In addition, Polaris recently acquired A $2.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to launch automation technology that manages agricultural energy resources to reduce the net maximum load on the California grid.”
Gridtractor – How it Works (with music) from David Meyers on Vimeo.
The Gridtractor has slipped out of stealth in recent weeks to “develop freight technology, fleet electrification, and energy management services for electric tractors and heavy farm equipment” across the country, starting in California.
Gridtractor will help farmers seamlessly integrate electric charging and grid connectivity (V2G) technology into their operations to power the power grid through its smart power platform. In addition, the company estimates that farms can save 55-75% of fuel costs by electricity, and up to 90% by providing stored energy to irrigation pumps and the grid. To start, Terranova Ranch will use a “Gridtractor Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) planning model to select the best electric tractor deployments and integrate with existing electrical infrastructure at dozens of irrigation pump locations and solar arrays.”
said Don Cameron, Vice President and General Manager Terranova Ranch. “For more than forty years, our team has paid special attention to sustainability and keeping our soil, water and air quality as healthy as possible, which is critical to ensuring long-term crop sustainability and employee well-being. We are taking this a step further through our partnership with Gridtractor To reduce emissions and transform energy use on our farm.”
In my conversation with David Myers, I found the company’s vital and intrinsically supportive work inspiring, and I think the groundwork is fertile for this solution. Farmers just need to be educated about financial savings, regardless of any concern for environmental or climate sustainability.
“Noting the rapid acceleration in the adoption of electric vehicles, particularly in the heavy-duty sector, we recognized that agriculture is an underserved industry in electricity. And looking at the emissions from one Tractor, we believe it is critical to help farmers adopt this technology faster and more smoothly,” Myers said. “The longest pillar in the tent for transportation electrification is building infrastructure to support the exponential increase in demand for Grid, and with the car to-Grid One component of our solution, we can basically run an electric Tractor In a giant battery. We estimate that in addition to field savings, farmers can save 15 percent for smart charging and loading vehicles/vehicles to-
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