Agriculture requires liquid fuels and therefore cannot be electrified.

Direct electric farm vehicles, like loaders and mixer-feeder wagons, are already on the market and future models are expected to benefit from the rapid development of e-mobility technology in other sectors.

Some electric farm vehicles, such as loaders and mixer-feeder wagons, already exist in the market and the electrification of machines and vehicles for agriculture is already benefiting from battery technology development for electric cars.

In general, small electric agriculture machines and vehicles, weighting below 3-4 tons and with a motor size of 19-56 kW, are well suited for direct electrification. It is these machines that already exist in the market and that are likely to become more available and more common in the coming years.

For larger machines and vehicles, and for vehicles that rely on long usage between charging due to the work pattern of farmers, the current constraints of battery technology are more pressing and further design and process innovation is needed. Work is, however, being done on developing electric models for larger machines and vehicles and many of the biggest manufacturers are involved. For some of these machines, liquid e-fuels may currently represent a more feasible approach than direct electrification, but such fuels are certainly not required by all agricultural machines and vehicles.

References:

Richard Allison, “Is Electric Technology Set to Kill off Diesel Tractors,” 2017, https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/analysis-electric-technology-set-kill-off-diesel-tractors

Helene Sedal (Rambøll) Heidi Ødegård Berg, Per Halvor Bekkelund, “MULIGHETSROMMET FOR ALTERNATIV TEKNOLOGI PÅ TRAKTORER,” 2016.

Derek Casey, “Is There Life after Diesel for Tractors?,” 2019, https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/machinery/is-there-life-after-diesel-for-tractors-38270479.html.