After cars, two-wheeler, three-wheelers, buses and mini trucks it is the turn of tractors to go all-electric. Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said he will launch a battery electric tractor in the coming days which can bring down the overall cost of farm produce.

The minister declined to name the company which is launching the electric tractor stating that the launch dates and formalities are being worked upon. While electric tractors will need a lot of power to do traditional activities like plowing and tilling, Gadkari hinted that such tractors can haul farm produce from the fields to the market

“A farmer has to deliver 300kg of vegetables to the market he has to incur a cost of ₹200. In the next few days I will be launching an electric tractor in the market,” Gadkari said at the HDFC Ergo General Insurance EV Summit held last week.

With the cost of diesel having crossed ₹100 per litre in many parts of the country, the cost of farm produce has risen significantly over the last several months. Electric tractors, with their extremely economical costs, are pegged to become the most suited replacement to traditional diesel-driven tractors.

Punjab-based Sonalika Tractors is the only tractor company in India to have commercially launched an electric tractor in the market. Called the Tiger Electric, Sonalika had introduced it in December 2020 at an introductory price of ₹5.99 lakh. Powered by a 11kW motor and having a lift capacity of 500kg the Tiger Electric is used for a variety of applications including spraying, grass cutting, rotavator and for hauling a trolley.

In January this year, Escorts had declared that the company had received a certificate from the Central Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute, Budni for its electric tractor which also complies with the CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989). Escorts however is yet to commercially launch the product in the market.

Two of India’s biggest tractor makers Mahindra & Mahindra and TAFE who together control nearly 60 percent of India’s domestic tractor market, are yet to announce their exact plans for electric tractors. M&M, however, is working on launching electric tractors under its own brand and under the Swaraj brand by FY26.

India’s tractor market has grown by 16 percent to 8.59 lakh during the January to November period as against 7.41 lakh clocked in the same period last year, as per data shared by the Tractor and Mechanisation Association. The industry is set to close 2021 as its best year in its history.

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