Date: September 11, 2023. — E-Tractors are a new addition to India’s electric vehicle (EV) revolution. With the talk amongst policy makers of achieving 30% electric mobility by 2030, the agricultural sector is now catching up to the electric vehicle wave.
E-Tractors offer higher torque and power efficiency compared to their diesel counterparts. This means farmers can accomplish more work in less time, leading to increased agricultural productivity.
India is one of the world’s leading tractor exporters, with 1,24,542 tractors exported during the fiscal year 2022-23, according to the Tractor and Mechanization Association. Diesel continues to be the primary fuel for tractors in the country. Agricultural tractors accounted for just over 2.6% of India’s diesel consumption between October 2020 and September 2021.
However, the pressing issue is that India boasts approximately 90 lakh agricultural tractors. This far outnumbering the 12 lakh buses on Indian roads. This situation underscores the urgency of transitioning to electrification, especially since the majority of Indian agricultural tractors fall below the BS IV emission standards. Moreover, the shift from rental to ownership among small landowners is expected to fuel the E-tractor market in India. This shift presents a lucrative opportunity for foreign trade, as more than 30% of tractor exports in FY 2022-23 go to the United States. In the United States, the demand for compact E-tractors is on the rise.
In comparison to diesel tractors, a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis predicts potential savings of up to 30% over a five-year period. E-tractors also require little upkeep and repair. In contrast to electric automobiles or trucks, E-tractors operate mostly on smaller farms. They travel shorter distances, and as a result, they do not experience range anxiety problems.
To incentivize the adoption of E-Tractors, the government is offering subsidies and financial support. This makes the transition to electric tractors more accessible to farmers, especially those in remote and economically disadvantaged regions. While E-Tractors offer numerous advantages, there are still challenges to overcome, such as the initial high cost of acquisition, battery range, and the need for continued investment in charging infrastructure.
As E-Tractors roll out across India’s agricultural landscape, they signify a significant step towards sustainable farming practices and cleaner air. With the government’s support and increasing awareness of environmental concerns, E-Tractors are likely to play a pivotal role in India’s electric vehicle revolution. This will pave the way for a greener and more prosperous future for the nation’s agriculture sector.