Monarch Tractor’s electric, driver-optional smart tractor
Monarch Tractor, maker of the MK-V, the fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractor, has announced the first tractors are coming off the Founder Series production line at its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Livermore, California.
The rollout comes less than two years since Monarch unveiled its tractor that combines electrification, automation, and data analysis to help farmers reduce their carbon footprint, improve field safety, streamline farming operations, and increase their bottom lines.
Constellation Brands, the global fine wine and craft spirits producer and largest beer importer in the US, has partnered with Monarch as its first customer, through its purchase of the first six Founder Series MK-V tractors. The delivery of MK-V tractors to Constellation Brands will be followed by additional customer shipments to family farms and other large multinational corporations.
Utilising a Monarch MK-V in place of a comparable diesel tractor is the equivalent emission reduction of removing 14 passenger vehicles from the road. Considering nearly 25% of global emissions result from agriculture, the zero-emission Monarch Tractor will help make meaningful emissions reductions as the use of Monarch Tractors scale in an industry that has been historically difficult to decarbonise.
The use of the MK-V tractor simultaneously helps solve numerous challenges farmers face today including labour shortages, safety concerns, increased customer scrutiny for sustainable practices, government regulations, and more.
Key features of the MK-V include:
● Renewable technology: The MK-V is 100% electric and has zero tailpipe emissions. It also serves as a 3-in-1 electrification tool, operating as a tractor or utility vehicle during operation, as well as a powerful electric generator in the field.
● Driver optional: Monarch utilises the latest autonomous and robotics hardware and software technology, including the NVIDIA Jetson edge AI platform, to provide driver-assist and driver-optional operations. The Monarch MK-V can perform pre-programmed tasks without a driver, or an operator can use the Monarch interactive automation features including Shadow mode to have the Monarch Tractor follow a worker on the job.
● Unprecedented dafety: The MK-V is packed with safety features including rollover and collision prevention, vision-based Power Take Off (PTO) safety, and 360° cameras to keep operations running smoothly and employees safe, day or night.
● Deep learning & sensing suite: The MK-V collects and analyses crop data daily and can process data from current and next-generation implements equipped with sensors and imaging. This data can be used for real-time implement adjustments, long-term yield estimates, current growth stages and other plant/crop health metrics.
● Smart device operation: Through a smartphone or personal device, MK-V users receive tractor status alerts, detailed operations reports, and data collection, analysis, and storage for more efficient farm planning.
● Powerful: The Monarch electric drivetrain is capable of providing 40HP (30KW) of continuous power and short duration peak power up to 75HP (55KW) in a small footprint for multi-purpose usage.
“This is a momentous day for Monarch Tractor that has been years in the making,” said Praveen Penmetsa, Co-Founder & CEO, Monarch Tractor. “Our team has worked tirelessly and relentlessly with a mission to make farming more profitable and sustainable. We’re proud to see our commitment to technological innovation and sustainable solutions culminate in celebrating our first tractor off the production line, which, I might add, is powered by renewable energy.”
“We are pleased to partner with Monarch Tractor as its first customer, accelerating our deep commitment to sustainability while supporting a business driving future-forward innovation in agriculture technology,” said Robert Hanson, President of Constellation Brands’ Wine & Spirits division. “As we build a leading global premium, fine wine and craft spirits portfolio, comprised of some of the world’s top vineyards including To Kalon (whose organic certification is expected in early 2023), we are focused on protecting and amplifying our resources while producing the highest quality wines and spirits in the world. Being the first to leverage the Founder Series MK V affords us an industry-first opportunity to do so, and we congratulate Monarch on this exciting launch.”
Launched to the public in 2020, Monarch Tractor transformed the agriculture industry with next generation EV technology and unparalleled automation capabilities to meet farmers’ most pressing needs. Four months later, Monarch deployed its pilot series at Wente Vineyards, marking the first time a fully electric, driver-optional, connected tractor had ever been deployed to a commercial farm. The MK-V has received critical acclaim and won numerous awards and recognition to date including being named to the 2022 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, recognised as a CES 2022 Innovation Award Honouree, and awarded “Overall AgTech Solution of the Year” in the 2021 AgTech Breakthrough Awards, among others.
Monarch Tractor has also captured the attention of the investment community, raising more than $110 million including a $61 million Series B round in 2021. Additionally, Monarch Tractor, a member of the NVIDIA Inception startup programme, has secured several strategic partnerships globally including CNH Industrial and V.S.T. Tillers Tractors, and recently signed a contract manufacturing agreement with Hon Hai Technology Group (“Foxconn”,) to build the MK-V and its battery packs at the Foxconn Ohio facility.
Manufacturing operations are expected to begin at the Foxconn Mahoning Valley, Ohio facility in 2023, while tractor research and development will continue in California.