California-based e-tractor firm Solectrac has developed three models which will cater to most of the needs of an average grower in the US
Ideanomics, a facilitator of electric vehicles (EVs), has acquired a 15% stake in Solectrac, a California-based e-tractor company, for $1.3m.
Solectrac is a developer and distributor of 100% battery-powered, electric tractors, an alternative to diesel tractors for agriculture and utility operations. By investing in Solectrac, Ideanomics has purchased the potential to expand its footprint in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, particularly in the category of commercial vehicles.
The investment is also Ideanomics’ first in a US-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and it will assume a seat on Solectrac’s board of directors.
Ideanomics CEO Alf Poor said: “We are very impressed with Steve and the Solectrac team and their deep knowledge of the agricultural sector. We have been interested in this industry for some time because we knew EVs could have an immediate impact without the need for extensive infrastructure.
“Solectrac is a pioneer in the electric tractor market and shares our motivation and passion for a cleaner tomorrow.”
Ideanomics’ investment in Solectrac will broaden its footprint in the EV industry
Established in 2012, Solectrac had initially received grants from the Indian U.S. Science and Technology Fund (IUSSTF) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Earlier this year, the e-tractor-maker had received the World Alliance Solar Impulse Efficient Solutions label from the Solar Impulse Foundation.
Ideanomics quoted one of the reports of Research And Markets and stated that the global agricultural tractor market is currently valued at $75bn, and the North American market is expected to reach $20bn by 2023.
The biggest segment in agricultural tractors is the below 40HP segment, where Solectrac is claimed to have developed its initial three models, to address the broad needs of the market.
The firm further states that its tractors have been specifically designed to serve the needs of community-based farms, vineyards, orchards, equestrian arenas, greenhouses and hobby farms.
Solectrac CEO and founder Steve Heckeroth said: “With our zero-emission electric tractors, tractor operators don’t have to choose between power and environmentally friendly practices.
“My life’s work has been dedicated to creating clean, renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. Now—with Ideanomics and the company’s unique experience and industry perspective—we are well-positioned to achieve these goals.”