International Tractors Ltd-owned Sonalika Tractors has become the first factory to commercially launch a field-ready electric tractor for the domestic market with an introductory ex-showroom price of ₹5.99 lacks today.
Calling its new product Tiger Electric, Sonalika’s electric tractor is fitted with a 25.5 kWh lithium-ion battery and 11kW induction motor, which can be fully charged in 10 hours using a normal home charging socket and in just 4 hours using a fast charging system.
They are designed for farming applications typically carried out by a sub-35 horsepower tractor. In its press release, Tiger Electric stated that Tiger Electric could run for eight hours using a two-ton trolley on one charge.
In the year 2003, Escorts Ltd unveiled its electric tractor that was designed in-house. Escorts Ltd exported it to a handful of developed markets but did not launch the product in India.
“Our electric tractor(s) are designed in Europe and developed in-house with proven aggregates to deliver seamless power and emission-free, noiseless farming,” the company stated and added that the presence of additional torque generates more power, which can boost the tractor’s efficiency on the field without creating fatigue for the driver.
Tiger Electric assures better comfort for farmers since there is no heat transfer to the engine, and a smaller number of components result in lower vibration, guaranteeing less downtime for the product and zero maintenance expenses. According to the company, it can lower the running cost by one-fourth compared to an ordinary diesel-powered tractor.
The Hoshiarpur-based company announced that it had designed a range of electric tractors, which includes larger models, and is looking to launch them commercially within the next few months.
“It is based on the tested tractor platform of Sonalika, which is designed to ensure a low-cost performance and be simple to use in advancing toward a cleaner, emission-free future.
Tiger Electric operations are not like regular tractors and make it a great choice for farmers while also reducing the cost of fuel,” said Raman Mittal, chief executive officer of Sonalika Tractors.
According to Mittal, riding on the robust demand for tractors, the company has registered a growth of 33% in its tractor sales so far this fiscal against the industry growth of 13%.
“Electric tractors could be an attractive option if they are sold both in the export and domestic markets since the combined volume will help reduce development costs. Additionally, diesel prices have risen, and fuel prices concern farmers.
Although some people will be interested, what must be determined is how toll expense of ownership (TCO) will work in certain segments to reach cost parity.” stated Ashim Sharma, a partner of Nomura Research Institute.