For most electric vehicles, battery weight is a problem, but for electric tractors, battery weight is an asset and can be used to balance the weight of implements.
The drive train of a diesel tractor is a complicated machine with over 300 parts. The electric motor in an electric tractor has only one moving part which accounts for most of its energy being converted into power directly without losses due to the heat of combustion.
Many farmers experience hearing loss from long exposure to the 95 - 100 decibels from diesel tractors used in their daily activities. Electric tractors can significantly reduce that harmful exposure. Electric tractors operate in the safe exposure zone below 80 decibels at around 65 db.
CO2 Emissions from a 30 HP diesel tractor with average use over 15 years ~ 90 Tons
CO2 Emission from a 30 HP electric tractor charged from grid over 15 years ~ 9 Tons
CO2 Emissions from a 30 HP electric tractor charged from solar over 15 years ~ 1 ton
Farmers are subjected to volatile fuel costs. Charging an electric tractor from the California grid at about 20 cents per kWh reduces fuel cost by about 70%.
According to Iowa State University's Estimates, maintenance cost of a 30 HP tractor's 15-year life cycle is over $100,000. An electric tractors maintenance cost over the same time period is $7,000, which is a fraction of the cost of diesel.
Electric motors have maximum torque at zero RPM and all the way through the slow operating speeds of tractors. Diesel tractors do not reach maximum torque until 2000-3000 RPM, so they take time to come up to maximum torque under heavy loads.
The motor in an electric tractor only runs when you hit the throttle. When the tractor is stopped, like during harvesting, it is silent with no exhaust and no energy is used.
The engine in a diesel tractor idles all day long wasting energy making noise and spuing exhaust even when no work is being done.
Just like the extra battery that can be purchased for a weed whacker, electric tractors can come with an exchangeable battery pack. They serve the dual purpose of weight for traction and extending runtime. With exchangeable battery packs, you can run the electric tractor continuously.
An electric tractor can return energy to the battery that would otherwise be lost. When you let the foot of the throttle, go downhill or brake, the motor turns into a generator and recharges the battery.