Bengaluru-based agri-machinery maker VST Tillers Tractors Ltd on Wednesday said that it has developed components for an electric smart tractor built in the US.
“Under technical collaboration with California-based Monarch Tractor, we designed, developed and manufactured components such as transmission, clutch and axle systems for integrating with its electrical motor and software to roll out electric tractors,” VST Chief Executive Antony Cherukara told IANS here.
“Since its launch in mid-December, Monarch’s e-tractors have been getting good response in the US, especially from vineyard farmers in the Napa Valley in the California,” said Cherukara.
“The electric tractors can also be operated in farms without a driver through AI and GPS developed by Monarch, a 3-year-old private firm in the Silicon Valley,” said Cherukara.
The tractor’s electric drivetrain provides 40HP or 30KW of continuous power for 8 hours and short duration peak power up to 70HP (55KW) for multi-purpose usage.
“By shifting to a e-tractor, farmers will be able to save 27 per cent on cost of operations from a conventional diesel tractor,” he said.
As farmers face many challenges, including labour shortage, effects of climate change, safety concerns, customer scrutiny and regulations, electrification, automation, machine learning and data analysis will enhance operations, boost productivity, maximise yields and reduce costs and emissions, he said.
“The e-tractor can also perform pre-programmed tasks without a driver or an operator due to interactive autonomous functions,” said Cherukara.
The e-tractor has safety features for roll and collision prevention, vision-based power-take-off and 360-degree cameras to operate safely day and night.
“With its sensing suite, the tractor collects and analyses 240GB crop data on the day it operates in the field. It is configured to work with present agri-implements and next-generation smart agri-equipment,” he said.
Through a smart phone or personal device, farmers can get tractor alerts, updates on micro-weather conditions, operational reports, data collection, analysis and storage for efficient farming.
“We look forward to introducing electric tractors across our country in future,” Cherukara adde.
Monarch co-founder Praveen Penmetsa said by coupling his company’s AI with VST’s hardware had ensured robust tractors of global standards.
VST, a Rs 601-crore listed firm, also makes engines, transmission and power reaper for tillers, tractors and other agri-equipment for domestic and export markets.