Reduce Your Farm Overhead With An Electric Vehicle

Electric vehicles are popping up on hobby farms everywhere. Here’s a look at the different electric vehicle types you can choose for your homestead.

by Shelly Wutke

If you want to take your hobby farm in a smarter direction, an electric vehicle is a great choice. Electric vehicles (EVs) can take on the workload of other farm vehicles, but they run on rechargeable batteries, they’re more efficient to run, and electricity is better for the environment.

When you have an EV, you can reduce overhead costs because they don’t need to be filled up with expensive gas. They can also stand up to long hours of use because they’re built to last for years. This type of vehicle is quickly becoming the norm on the farm, and they’re available in many different types. You can find one to help with any task you need to take on.

Different Electric Vehicles That Work for the Farm

If you follow farm tech and the latest smart farm trends, you know the John Deere self-driving tractor made its debut at the Consumer Electronic Show a few years ago. While the self-driving tractor may be a bit out of reach for the average hobby farmer, there are a lot of other options if you’re looking for something that relies on electricity and can stand up to hours of work.

Some companies offer everything from electric forklifts to electric UTVs. Here are a few examples of electric vehicles you can add to your farm right now.

Electric Tractors

John Deere announced the first electric tractor a few years ago. It’s called the John Deere SESAM  (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery) and it’s an electric tractor that can plow, plant and take on all of the heavy lifting on your farm without needing gas or diesel.

There is also the Kubota LX electric tractor. It’s small and light, but it’s an e-tractor that’s powerful enough to get to work on your farm. You can plow, tow or move soil more efficiently using a tractor, and because it runs on battery power it will reduce your overhead fuel costs.

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Electric UTVs

There are many different electric UTVs on the market today, but the John Deere TE 4×2 stands above the rest. It looks just like a gas or diesel John Deere Gator, but this Gator runs on eight Trojan rechargeable T-105 batteries.

It can also haul 900 lbs, carry 500 lbs, and will cruise up to 13 mph. With a UTV like the TE Electric, you don’t have downtime while you charge because the electric motor has on-board charging.

Solar Electric Vehicles

It’s incredible to think you can power your tractor or UTV with the light of the sun, but a solar-powered electric vehicle can do just that. This type of tractor is designed with solar panels built into the vehicle. As long as your hobby farm receives an ample amount of sunlight in the summer and winter, you can keep your solar-powered vehicle charged and ready to work.

There are a few different solar electric vehicles including the Solectrac utility Electric Tractor. It charges using the sun’s power, and it can still handle all of the farm tasks you’d take on with a gas-powered vehicle.

Benefits of Electric Vehicles on the Farm

A few years ago, it would have been hard to conceive of a UTV or tractor that’s powered by an electric battery. But EVs are quickly becoming a viable option for replacing gas or diesel farm vehicles.

While the initial cost of an electric UTV, tractor or forklift may be slightly higher than a gas-powered UTV, EVs have much lower operating costs. One of the reasons for the lower overhead when using an electric vehicle is that EV batteries are lithium-ion. They last anywhere from 3 to 10 years before they need to be replaced.

Electric UTVs are a great way to reduce your energy use, and if you use solar or wind power on your farm you can charge your electric vehicle without spending a dime. They are also quieter than gas or diesel vehicles, so you can move around your property without disturbing livestock. While these vehicles are quiet and inexpensive to run, they don’t lack power. Some electric UTVs can pull heavy equipment or tow farm implements.

Is This the Year You Add an Electric Vehicle to Your Farm?

Electric tractor, electric UTV or solar-powered electric vehicle—whichever you choose, you can protect the environment and your overhead costs by using a battery-powered vehicle to make your hobby farm more sustainable.

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