NORTH BAY, CA – For the first time in California, seven zero-emission tractors will be deployed to Bay Area farms and vineyards, including three in North Bay.
The tractors are the result of a $ 1 million grant to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District as part of the Agriculture Reduction Measures Funding Program for Emissions Reduction, or FARMER.
The goal is to test the viability of emerging technologies to determine if they can perform the same function for Bay Area farming operations as the diesel equipment they would replace. The program also advances California’s toxic and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and the Air District’s “Diesel Free by ’33” initiative, according to a press release.
Partner farms where tractors will be deployed and data collected include Old School Vineyards in Napa, Arroyo Lindo Vineyard in Sonoma, Crocker Estate in St. Helena, Wente Vineyards in Livermore and The Mushroom Farm in Pescadero.
Zero emission battery operated tractors are not yet commercially available on a large scale. To support the creation of demonstration models as part of the FARMER program, the Air District awarded in 2020 a grant of $ 480,000 to Monarch Tractor and a grant of $ 514,688 to Solectrac by Ideanoics.
Monarch Tractor is an electric tractor manufacturer with a fully electric tractor platform designed for
empower farmers by enabling the profitable implementation of sustainable and organic practices, while Solectrac by Ideanomics is a manufacturer and distributor of zero-emission electric agricultural and utility tractors that are powerful, low-maintenance alternatives to diesel equipment pollutants.
“Air District is proud to take the lead in advancing clean technologies, such as zero emission tractors, which is an important and necessary step to achieve our goals of reducing air quality disparities and climate impacts across the Bay Area, ”said Jack Broadbent. , director general of the air district. “The FARMER program is proof that clean technologies are possible in all industries.”
– Bay City News Service contributed to this report.