US-based Monarch Tractor signs up with Bengaluru based company for components


A Bengaluru-based agri-machinery maker has been partnering with a US-based electric smart tractor for building certain components.

VST Tillers Tractors Ltd on Wednesday, February 10, said that it signed up with a California-based Monarch Tractor to designed, developed and manufactured some key components.

“Under technical collaboration with California-based Monarch Tractor, we designed developed and manufactured components such as transmission, clutch, and axle systems for integrating with its electrical motor and software to roll out electric tractors,” VST Chief Executive Antony Cherukara told reports.

Since its launch in mid-December, Monarch’s e-tractors have been getting good response in the US, especially from vineyard farmers in the Napa Valley in California,” said Cherukara.

Monarch co-founder Praveen Penmetsa said by coupling his company’s AI with VST’s hardware had ensured robust tractors of global standards.

“The electric tractors can also be operated in farms without a driver through AI and GPS developed by Monarch, a 3-year-old private firm in the Silicon Valley,” said Cherukara.

The tractor’s electric drivetrain provides 40HP or 30KW of continuous power for 8 hours and short duration peak power up to 70HP (55KW) for multi-purpose usage.

“By shifting to an e-tractor, farmers will be able to save 27 percent on the cost of operations from a conventional diesel tractor,” he said.

As farmers face many challenges, including labor shortage, effects of climate change, safety concerns, customer scrutiny and regulations, electrification, automation, machine learning and data analysis will enhance operations, boost productivity, maximize yields and reduce costs and emissions, he said.

“The e-tractor can also perform pre-programmed tasks without a driver or an operator due to interactive autonomous functions,” said Cherukara.

The e-tractor has safety features for roll and collision prevention, vision-based power-take-off and 360-degree cameras to operate safely day and night.

“With its sensing suite, the tractor collects and analyses 240GB crop data on the day it operates in the field. It is configured to work with present agri-implements and next-generation smart agri-equipment,” he said.

Through a smart phone or personal device, farmers can get tractor alerts, updates on micro-weather conditions, operational reports, data collection, analysis, and storage for efficient farming.

“We look forward to introducing electric tractors across our country in the future,” Cherukara added.