Farmers In The Northwest Can Borrow Equipment From An Electric Tractor Library

Farmers in the Pacific Northwest are leading the charge to electrify their sector of the agricultural economy, and one group is introducing a “rideshare” service for tractors.

According to a recent article published by Claire Carlson in the Daily Yonder, “Sustainable Northwest, in cooperation with Forth, Wy’East RC&D, and Bonneville Environment Foundation, is running a program in Oregon called ‘rideshare’ that enables farmers to test out electric tractors on their farms.”

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The organization’s objective is that farmers would be able to take advantage of the benefits offered by electric machinery through the program. According to research conducted in 2019 for the Oregon Department of Transportation, rural residents of Oregon drive their automobiles nearly twice as far each day as the typical driver across the state. This mileage can be significantly greater for farmers, which results in a significantly higher cost per gallon for diesel.

Farmers In The Northwest Can Borrow Equipment
Farmers In The Northwest Can Borrow Equipment

Electric agricultural equipment might not only help save money and fuel, but it might also help farmers live healthier lives. “The minimal sound that the machinery generates is a sharp difference from the roar that diesel-powered tractors produce,” the author writes. “A low hum is joined by the noise of the bearings turning while driving, and there is no noise while the vehicle is idle.”

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“At this time, there are no financial incentives for purchasing an electric tractor in the state of Oregon. That is something that Sustainable Northwest wants to alter, and one of the ways that they plan to do so is by making a tractor ridesharing program available to local farmers free of charge.

Advocates are holding out hope that legislation similar to the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides incentives for certain electric vehicles but does not cover equipment such as tractors, may in the future include provisions for electric agricultural machinery.

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