Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Monarch launches first commercially available electric, driver-optional tractor

Monarch Tractor announced the first MK-V, the fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractors are coming off the Founder Series production line at its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Livermore, California. The rollout comes less than two years since Monarch unveiled its groundbreaking tractor that combines electrification, automation, and data analysis to help farmers reduce their carbon footprint, improve field safety, streamline farming operations, and increase their bottom lines.

Constellation Brands, a leading global premium, fine wine, and craft spirits producer and largest beer importer in the U.S., has partnered with Monarch as its first customer. Constellation Brands is taking delivery on the first six Founder Series MK-V tractors, which will be fundamentally game-changing.

The Monarch electric tractor has been developed to help decarbonize farming operations. According to the company, utilizing a Monarch MK-V in place of a comparable diesel tractor is the equivalent emission reduction of removing 14 passenger vehicles from the road. Considering nearly 25% of global emissions result from agriculture, the zero-emission Monarch Tractor will help make meaningful emissions reductions as the use of Monarch Tractors scales in an industry that has been historically difficult to decarbonize.

The MK-V is 100% electric and also serves as a 3-in-1 electrification tool, operating as a tractor or utility vehicle during operation, as well as a powerful electric generator in the field. The use of the MK-V tractor simultaneously helps solve numerous challenges farmers face today, including labor shortages, safety concerns, increased customer scrutiny for sustainable practices, government regulations, and more.

The Monarch electric drivetrain is capable of providing 40HP (30KW) of continuous power and short-duration peak power up to 75HP (55KW) in a small footprint for multi-purpose usage. The company utilizes the latest autonomous and robotics hardware and software technology, including the NVIDIA Jetson edge AI platform, to provide driver-assist and driver-optional operations.

The MK-V can perform pre-programmed tasks without a driver, or an operator can use the Monarch interactive automation features, including Shadow mode, to have the Monarch Tractor follow a worker on the job. Using deep learning software, the tractor collects and analyzes crop data daily and can process data from current and next-generation implements equipped with sensors and imaging. This data can be used for real-time implementation adjustments, long-term yield estimates, current growth stages, and other plant/crop health metrics.

The MK-V electric tractor has an industry-leading battery runtime of 14 hours, depending on the farm conditions and how it’s used. Besides, the electric tractor is packed with safety features, including rollover and collision prevention, vision-based Power Take Off (PTO) safety, and 360° cameras to keep operations running smoothly and employees safe, day or night.

Monarch Tractor was first launched to the public in 2020. Monarch deployed its pilot series at Wente Vineyards four months later, marking the first time a fully electric, driver-optional, connected tractor had ever been deployed to a commercial farm.