The tiny island of Sark has become the first customer in Great Britain to purchase an all-electric tractor for use on La Seigneurie estate.
Sark is the fourth smallest of the Channel Islands and nestles in the English Channel just off the Normandy coast. It is famous for having no cars on its roads and tractors are the preferred mode of transport. However, with the advances in technology, Major Christopher Beaumont, the 23rd Seigneur of Sark, has become the first customer in Great Britain to purchase an all-electric tractor.
After trawling many websites researching electric tractors Beaumont found the Farmtrac 25G model powered by a 21 kWh battery.
Made in India, this unique tractor has all-wheel drive, and can work for six to seven hours before needing recharged for five hours from a normal domestic electric socket. Zero emissions, oil-immersed brakes, power steering and position control hydraulic linkage are also part the features on the Farmtrac 25G.
Beaumont bought the tractor from the Farmtrac UK distributer, Reesink Agriculture UK Ltd.
“Someone has to take the first steps and we were in the market”
“I decided to purchase this model because I think it’s the only one available at the moment. I certainly couldn’t find any alternatives. It was featured on TV which is how it came to my attention” said Beaumont, adding “I was looking for a small estate machine and as we had recently made the leap to come off our grid, which currently costs 56p/unit, it seemed to be a natural progression to keep pushing the green agenda.”
“Someone has to take the first steps and we were in the market, so it seemed sensible to be seen to be leading from the front. I have also been banging on about renewable energy publicly for some time, so it seemed right to be doing what I had been preaching,” he continued.
Beaumont plans to use solar energy created on the island from his own solar panels to charge the tractor which he wants to use on his own estate.
“Sark certainly has enough sunshine to create the energy, but I might need to increase the number of solar panels I have to collect it. On a normal day here in mid-Winter my system collects 16kWh, even with the sun being low. In the summer the system can be making more than 45kWh per day, easily enough to fill the 21kWh battery,” he said.
On La Seigneurie estate, Beaumont has lined up a number of jobs for the new electric tractor once it arrives from the distributor via Guernsey Island.
“It will be used for estate management work including mowing, moving things, topping grass and log-splitting I also hope to get a front loader for it making it even more versatile. I had been looking at the possibility of an electric quad-bike instead but they simply do not have the utility that comes with a tractor such as the universal utility of PTO at the rear and centre of the machine, and the standard three point linkage at the rear,” said Beaumont.
Farmtrac’s electric tractor as featured on BBC Countryfile in 2020