2 min read.Updated: 23 Dec 2020, 08:59 PM ISTAmit Panday
Sonalika’s electric tractor is equipped with a 11kW induction motor and a 25.5 kWH lithium ion battery, which can be fully charged in 10 hours using a regular home charging socket and in just 4 hours using a fast charging system
International Tractors Ltd-owned Sonalika Tractors has become the first manufacturer to commercially launch a field-ready electric tractor for the domestic market with an introductory price of ₹5.99 lakh (ex-showroom) today.
Calling its new product Tiger Electric, Sonalika’s electric tractor is equipped with a 11kW induction motor and a 25.5 kWH lithium ion battery, which can be fully charged in 10 hours using a regular home charging socket and in just 4 hours using a fast charging system.
Positioned for farm applications typically performed by a sub-35hp tractor, the company said Tiger Electric could run for 8 hours while operating with a 2-ton trolley on a single charge.
Three years ago, Escorts Ltd had unveiled its in-house developed electric tractor. The company exported it to a few developed markets but did not launch it in India.
“Our electric tractor(s) are designed in Europe and developed in-house with proven aggregates to deliver seamless power as well as emission free, noiseless farming," the company said, adding that the availability of extra torque delivers more power that would maximise the tractor’s performance on the field without causing fatigue to the driver.
Tiger Electric assures better comfort for farmers as no heat is transferred from the engine and lesser number of parts result in reduced vibration, thereby ensuring lesser product downtime and zero maintenance costs, the company said, claiming that it could bring down the running costs to one-fourth when compared with a conventional diesel-run tractor.
The Hoshiarpur-based company said it has developed a range of electric tractors including bigger models and is working on a plan to roll them out commercially in the near term.
“It is built on the proven tractor platform of Sonalika to guarantee pocket friendly performance while being easy-to-use as we progress towards an emission-free, greener tomorrow. Tiger Electric operations are no different than regular tractor making it farmer-friendly while cutting off the fuel costs," said Raman Mittal, executive director, Sonalika Tractors.
According to Mittal, riding on the robust demand for tractors, the company has recorded a growth of 33% in its tractor sales so far this fiscal against the industry growth of 13%.
“Electric tractors could become a viable proposition if sold in the domestic as well as export markets as the combined volumes would help in amortising the development costs. Also, the diesel prices have been moving upwards and fuel costs are a concern for the farmers. While there will be some takers for it, what needs to be seen is how the total cost of ownership (TCO) would work in specific segments to achieve cost parity," said Ashim Sharma, partner, Nomura Research Institute.