In preparation for a recently released custom research report, Ag Equipment Intelligence and Farm Equipment surveyed farm equipment dealers about their outlook for alternative power sources for farm equipment. The purpose of the survey was the gauge how interested farm customers were in adopting alterative-fueled farm equipment — such as renewable/biodiesel, ethanol, ammonia/hydrogen fuel cell and propane/CNG/methane.
We asked dealers, “Given the current push for electric-powered equipment amidst other ‘green’ technologies, what message do policy makers and/or manufacturers most need to hear about the practical operation of farm equipment?”
The question garnered a strong response — ranging from passionate and to the point (“Drill baby, drill!”) to logical and providing pointed questions. Most of the responses could be categorized into 4 main categories: infrastructure, cost, power and time. Below is a selection of the comments that fit into these categories.
Comment below if you have any additional thoughts on what you’d like to tell both manufacturers and policy makers on the topic.
- How practical are these new technologies in our industry? Long hours. Limited battery life. Little infrastructure. Seasonal use requires a level of reliability and dependability, Like most political discussions do they understand what is required?
- How to power green equipment, like the components needed for batteries and how to produce the power to charge the batteries. Also, how can those in remote locations get their green equipment serviced or even charged?
- They need to create the infrastructure and have it in place before the try to force the purchase of units that use alternative power sources.
- Infrastructure and Power. The tech is not there for electric technology in an application that requires the amount of power and time in the field. It cannot just be forced on everyone because it is "green".
- How green is the electric when we need to use other resources to reinforce the grid to support it and charging area
- If they want us to run electric vehicles and equipment, we CANNOT get rid of coal and gas fired power plants. Wind and solar cannot currently keep up. We should consider new nuclear technologies and going back to the tried and true hydroelectric. We can't kill any one portion of the energy portfolio and have the rest cover for that portions generation loss. And infrastructure of the electric grid will have to be a priority as well. The current transmission lines can't handle the load today(this I know because we have two highlines running through our farms) . The lawmakers who know this already need to get a louder voice than those who are pumping sunshine up everyone's backside. Common sense and logic(I know, what fun is that) have to prevail.
- can the grid handle it?
- We need to get Battery Production in the U.S. We need to get after the use of Electric in small tractors and perfect the technology soon, you think about all the 100hp and smaller tractors sold around the world. That would be huge. That will likely lead to that technology working in the larger tractors and other equipment.
- That the energy still needs to come from somewhere. Electricity isn’t a power source that just magically comes from an outlet.
- The electrical grid and enormous demand for lithium batteries just is not there for a full electrical takeover. The 2% electrical cars currently will become a total nightmare by the time cars reach 20%, If they can get that far in the next 10 years. Things could be way different in 20-50 years. Neighborhood local fusion reactors seem to be the only solution for this and they are not off the ground yet. With real effort they may be a real source within 10 to 20years.
- Conceptual ideologies of new technologies will be met with realistic roadblocks of minimal infrastructure support and dirty and harsh working conditions.
- The lack of ability for the grid to handle the charging requirements and the pollution that will come from worn out batteries.
- won't work on scale that is needed, not enough electricity in the world, even close
- There is No way that any of it will work without first getting the infrastructure in place. No one in their right mind is going to make a commitment to these alternative fuels without have the support of proper infrastructure.
- we need a grid that will support that many electric vehicles, I have no doubt the technology is there for this product but we cannot support it in the rural areas at this time. Our current electric coops are talking about rolling black out due to hot weather and high A/C usage, if we cannot support that how can we support all electric vehicles
- Cold climates, local infrastructure, customers need to see a ROI to pay the premium for electric
- What it will cost to use or recharge. The fact that the current electric grid cannot support the current push to convert to electric.
- The Green people are wrong and they are imposing and incredible cost on the sane people in America!!
- electric is not feasible at present, maybe sometime in future. electric when all is considered from making the batteries to producing the power is not as efficient nor as "clean" as our present fuel systems — get back to producing oil
- Will it work efficiently and how much more will it cost
- Equipment needs to be cost effective
- Cost of change
- Battery technology needs to continue to evolve with higher capacities, faster recharge time, and less cost.
- 1. It has to be affordable and 2. It has to make a real reduction in emission, don't just move the emissions from the field to and electric plant burning coal.
- efficiency at the least amount of cost
- It's like a diesel locomotive — the diesel powers electric motors. I don't think the electric powered tractors will have the endurance most farmers need
- Battery power don't work for large items cars, trucks, tractors, construction!!
- The lack of battery power to produce the horsepower requirements for large AG products. Also the lack of infrastructure to be able to produce the power and supply the power to charge the units.
- Reliability, power, availability of recharging in the rural areas
- Will need to come up with product that can produce the high power needed and be an economical supply
- Yes some manufactures are experimenting with electric tractors but when they get it, it will be years before it is widely accepted.
- It’s not ready and we are 10 years out, not 5.
- length of run time, charging facilities and cost of building, battery disposal
- Efficiency and time
- longevity of the electrical components and run times before recharging as well as alternate charging capabilities
- Weather and adverse conditions, the whole thing is BS because electricity is for a large part generated by petroleum in the northeast.
- Long lasting, operator friendly, able to be worked on by the average farmer.
- The technology must work for agriculture. This is different than the coal industry. There is a lot of difference running an electric car with 2 passengers than the farm tractor pulling the loads as we know them today. there will be a major shift in our practices for this technology to be successful in my opinion. This is possible but it would be a radical shift in 5 years.
- There are numerous challenges to scaling electric in ag. A requirement without a feasibility study to determine its realistic practicality would be a disaster.
- They have no clue to practical, real life needs and the technology is not there to develop these green alternatives so they will be useful for farming.
- Depends on the customer base. For compact tractors, I think the manufacturers need to loop the dealers into their thoughts on EV. Are designs in the works? What are the plans?
- If it doesn't work in vehicles (pickups pulling a loaded trailer), which is the current status I've read about, how will it work in agriculture?
- This equipment can be efficient, productive and cost effective for the consumer while being good for the environment.