Is the future of agriculture battery-powered?

From tools to tractors, batteries are playing an increasingly important role in agriculture. As battery technology advances, the farming industry is finding a broader use of applications for batteries in many areas. Batteries for agricultural purposes are lighter-weight and last longer than ever before, which makes them a go-to choice for performance, systems operations, and cost savings. If you want to know how batteries can improve your agricultural activities, Northeast Battery has the answers.


Improvements in Efficiency

Traditionally, batteries used in agriculture were made of lithium ion. However, ongoing research has led to the development of other batteries, including the lithium sulfur battery. A lithium sulfur battery, which is also called an Li-S, has the potential to carry five times the amount of energy that a traditional lithium battery holds. Agricultural batteries are also made of magnesium and iron, which creates more durable batteries with a greater charge capacity. Lithium oxygen batteries, another new development, produce more power than most other types of batteries on the market.


Greater Investment in Battery Production

As energy efficiency is gaining more traction in the agricultural industry, corporations are expanding their investments in manufacturing for batteries and battery-powered equipment. Tesla, for instance, which is a well-known name in the electric car industry, recently opened a $3.3B battery factory in Nevada called Gigafactory. This Tesla factory is dedicated exclusively to creating batteries for the agricultural sector. If the current rate of investment continues, experts predict that production of agricultural batteries will increase by four times the present production rate over the next decade. In addition to increasing the volume of battery production, increasing investment also enables additional research and development to make more efficient batteries.


Uses in Agricultural Applications

Today, batteries are used in more electric-powered agricultural applications than ever, including:

  • Tractors
  • Trucks
  • Drones
  • Power tools

Just as automakers are producing vehicles with electric and hybrid motors, agricultural companies are starting to make tractors that operate with similar mechanical configurations. Diesel tractors, electric tractors, and tractors with a hybrid gasoline engine and battery are increasingly common. John Deere, for example, has recently created an autonomous tractor powered by electricity. The tractor is quiet and produces virtually zero emissions. It is low-maintenance and has a total power output of 500 kW.

Electric trucks are also emerging in the market. Electric trucks are made with electric powertrains that either run exclusively on electric power using a motor and battery, or a hybrid powertrain that includes a traditional gasoline engine and electric-powered motor. Electric trucks range in size from pickup trucks, such as the new hybrid Ford F-150, to semitrucks capable of hauling 80,000 pounds in cargo.

Electric-powered drones and power tools have also recently entered the agricultural market. Electric drones are being used in crop production and weed control. They can detect weeds and schedule spraying accordingly to target specific plants while staying within a specific boundary. Power tools such as electric saws are also appearing on farms across the country.


From drones to trucks, batteries are playing an increasingly important role in agriculture. Contact Northeast Battery for more details on the role of batteries across the agricultural industry and how battery-powered equipment can help your farm.