Electric Tractors

Dear Friend,
     If your work is in agriculture or construction you may be bothered by the noise and smelly exhaust tractors produce. Dealing with toxic, explosive fuel, grease, oil and the constant maintenance may also be a hassle, but there are even more compelling reasons than the solar electric tractor's clean, silent, no hassle operation for replacing our fossil fuel dependent equipment. Degraded air quality, climate change, and global conflict over remaining oil supplies are the results of our petroleum dependence. In addition, bigger and bigger machines and centralized corporate monoculture are causing a loss of biodiversity and traditional farming skills which threaten future food supplies and our very existence.
     The developed world's reliance on petroleum for transportation and agricultural production is not sustainable. Sustainability requires a transition to the use of non-polluting renewable energy sources. The daily energy income from the sun is approximately equal to the energy available from the world's entire petroleum resource. This means that there is a virtually inexhaustible supply of solar energy to fuel an alternative to petroleum dependent agriculture and construction equipment.

-- Stephen Heckeroth



conventional tractor
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electric tractor
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Drive wheels need weight for traction.
Use high torque electric wheel motors and put battery weight between wheels.
Limited front visibility
Unobstructed front visibility
Weight on steering wheels
Weight on drive wheels
Low clearance (14")
High clearance (23")
Noise, vibration and pollution
Silent and clean operation
Operator exposed to hot sun
Operator shaded by solar charging canopy
The batteries on-board the Solar Electric Tractor can be charged directly from the utility grid for about $.50 at $.10 per kWh for a whole day of light duty operation. Even better, photovoltaic panels are now available that provide electricity from sunlight more dependably and less expensively over the course of their guaranteed lifetime than the utility grid.


conventional tractor
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electric tractor
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Explosive, poisonous, expensive fuel and oil which have to be transported long distances
Self-charged directly by clean, free renewable energy
Over 500 moving parts
Less than 20 moving parts
Daily maintenance
Monthly maintenance
Overall efficiency under 7%
Overall efficiency over 70%
Health Warning : GASOLINE

Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Long-term exposure to vapors has caused cancer in laboratory animals.
  • Avoid prolonged breathing vapors
  • Keep face away from nozzle and gas tank
  • Keep away from eyes and skin
  • Never siphon by mouth
Failure to use caution may cause serious injury or illness.

dirty4.jpg - 7523 Bytes Tractors need weight for traction
     Good traction does not have to mean the cumbersome addition of hundreds of pounds of dead weight. The Solar Electric Tractor's battery packs serve the dual purpose of providing energy and ideal weight distribution.
Battery weight is the biggest drawback with most electric vehicles, but in a tractor the weight becomes an asset. It provides added traction. Electric wheel motors and linear actuators are five to 10 times as efficient as internal combustion engines and hydraulics. The fact that electric tractors can be charged from on-site renewable sources eliminates the need for extraction and distribution of fossil fuels. This is particularly important in rural areas and developing countries that don't have a fossil fuel infrastructure. If an electric tractor is combined with photovoltaic charging, either on the tractor itself or on the roof of a building, no other refueling infrastructure is necessary.
tractormowing3.jpg - 11135 Bytes Improved visibility and versatility
     The use of silent, zero-emission, no maintenance electric motors inside the wheels, and for the Power Take Off (PTO) along with locating the batteries between the drive wheels, literally opens up the front to unobstructed visibility and a wide range of options. i.e. mid three-point hitch and PTO, grader, cultivator, belly mower, dump bed, auxiliary battery pack and planter/harvester seat.

The Solar Shade Canopy
     The Solar Electric Tractor can be charged directly from the sun using a tracking photovoltaic shade canopy, or it can be plugged into 110 or 220 Volt AC utility power. The solar shade canopy alone will provide all power needed for low energy intensive operations, such as planting and harvesting, or hauling a trailer. Operating costs are a fraction of those of conventional tractors.

batterypack.jpg - 6131 Bytes Self-loading, auxiliary battery pack
     The solar electric tractor uses an auxiliary battery pack for additional front or rear weight while at the same time increasing running time for energy intensive jobs, like rototilling. Continuous operation can be achieved by using a quick charger and exchanging two auxiliary battery packs.

The electric tractor can replace petroleum powered generators as a mobile power source in remote areas and in emergency applications. Electric tractors are also well suited to remote control applications, such as highway maintenance, toxic cleanup, and bomb disposal. By using industrial batteries every component in the electric tractor will operate with very little maintenance for 15 to 20 years. Many electric forklifts have been in service for 50 years while their gas counterparts last only 5 to 10 years.

Description    Tractor Specifications    Comparing Tractors    Letter from Steve


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