But today we'd like to talk about an electric vehicle innovation that is long overdue.
An electric tractor!
The Monarch MK-V is the world's first electric tractor that is commercially available (this means that people can actually buy it, as opposed to it being a prototype that is under development). This is a wonderful thing. After all, where else is it more important to be emissions-free than on a farm?
The less pollution near our food, the better, right?
Up to the task?
Of course, while everyone can agree that an electric vehicle sounds appealing on a farm, tractors fill a role that you can't fake with a bunch of flashy tech.
Tractors aren't there to go speeding down the highway, or to show off a new touch screen interface. Instead, they must be able to do things like safely pull huge loads, and drag plows through heavy soil all day long. They need to WORK.
So is the Monarch really strong enough to match the role?
Its makers claim so. With between 40 to 70 HP (horsepower, a measurement of engine strength), the Monarch has the same amount of power as an average tractor. In other words, it will be good enough to work on most farms, but not strong enough for massive farms that rely on machines that are over 100 HP.
The Monarch also has a battery that can run for 14 straight hours, which pretty much covers the length of even a very long day on the farm.
Safer and sleeker?
The other cool thing that the Monarch brings to the table is that it has a whole bunch of safety and tech features.
It has sensors that can figure out if a human is close by and in danger of being hit by the vehicle. It will either turn to avoid the person or stop completely. This is very important because the tractor is also designed to be self-driving (though a human can drive it if they wish).
And it also is a bit leaner than the average tractor, which allows it to be more maneuverable. But maybe the biggest tech plus on the Monarch is its AI systems, which analyze the health of the crops as it drives past them. They are made to make farming more efficient and to cut down on excess pesticides and fertilizer, which can pollute the environment.
Do you think farming will one day be all electric? Check out the Monarch in action below.