Pivoting towards more sustainable choices in the agricultural sector has been particularly challenging. With slim margins in agricultural practices, the room for the testing of unproven technologies is next to none. Today, with the electric vehicle (EV) revolution in play, manufacturers of the agriculture industry are readily investing in the research and development of green substitutes for farm vehicles.
Monarch Tractor is driving the industry toward a greener future by creating a product that is making sustainable farming practices economically superior. Through its rigorously field-tested technology, the company is enabling a profitable implementation of sustainable electric vehicles that are an efficient and economically viable solution. “We are seeing a desire from farmers to incorporate cutting-edge technology and data to optimize their operations, boost their bottom lines, and reduce their carbon footprint,” says Praveen Penmetsa, the CEO and co-founder of Monarch Tractor.
The company has been at the forefront of this transition within the agriculture industry with the world’s first fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractor.
The Creative Visionary
Praveen grew up on a rice farm in India and has always had a deep understanding of the agriculture industry. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati, he pursued a career in the automotive industry and electric and autonomous technologies. After gaining years of experience, Praveen realized the scope of his knowledge and applied it toward providing a green alternative for the agriculture industry.
In 2017, Praveen, along with co-founders Carlo Mondavi, Mark Schwager, and Zachary Omohundro, established Monarch Tractor in Livermore, California. Together, they have built a world-class team of tech, automotive, and agriculture experts that focuses on the needs of the modern farmer with an aim to devise a suitable solution.
Today, Praveen manages various roles at the company. While focusing on innovating AgTech solutions and building teams to develop and scale the next-generation robotic solutions for mobility, food, and automation, he also plays a key role in recruitments, critical partnerships, and media inquiries. “Monarch Tractor is a labor of love and thus I wear many hats,” says Praveen.
The Trifecta of Sustainability
Monarch Tractor is the first to offer a trifecta of electrification, automation, and actionable insights that empowers sustainable farming to increase efficiency and safety while maximizing profits for farmers. The company has taken inspiration from validated technologies and techniques used by the electric auto-manufacturers—on-road vehicles and automated manufacturing floors. Monarch Tractor successfully delivers a product that increases profits for farmers and transforms the food ecosystem toward a sustainable future.
The Monarch Tractor is 100 percent electric and has zero tailpipe emissions. With a powerful battery that can run upwards of 10 operating hours and an infield swappable battery, Monarch Tractor can run operations all day and night. It also serves as a 3-in-1 electrification tool, operating as a tractor or an ATV during operation, as well as the capabilities to act as a powerful generator in the field.
Monarch Tractor, however, does not stop at electrification. The company’s deep learning and sensing suite provide actionable intelligence that increases precision and efficiency, leading to cost savings and higher annual gains. The Monarch Tractor can detect every occurrence in every corner of the farm. It then provides real-time alerts, recommendations along with insights, automated reports for compliance and certifications, and implements the best operation for maximum sustainability and profits.
The Monarch Tractor can also be trained to carry out various tasks autonomously. It can integrate with the farmer’s existing implements and technologies, resulting in around-the-clock operation. This frees up the tractor driver from traditionally laborious tasks and instead allows them to focus on crop quality. The next-gen tractor helps the agriculture industry become more productive and precise.
Motivated to Drive Change
The Monarch Tractor team is diverse, highly experienced, and talented. It is a combination of experts with valuable experience in the fields of engineering, agriculture, automation, electrification, and manufacturing. “From the beginning, the unity of tech and agriculture expertise that goes into every Monarch Tractor has set us apart,” mentioned Praveen.
From its inception, Monarch Tractor is dedicated to providing farmer-focused solutions The company addresses the various challenges faced by farmers and delivers innovative solutions built to make sustainable farming practices economically superior.
Helping Build a Green Future
The impacts of climate change are being noticed around the world, and our food ecosystems are threatened by increasingly disastrous droughts, floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters. In turn, reducing CO2 emissions is crucial for farmers’ survival and the health of their crops.
A traditional diesel tractor produces roughly 17 times more emissions than the average car—with each Monarch Tractor a farmer can reduce emissions by 53 tons of CO2 every year. Along with the zero-emissions nature of its tractors, the autonomous capabilities and data services help farmers operate more sustainably—contributing even more to the change.
Monarch Tractor can truly be the solution that aids the longevity of our planet. It helps boost farmers’ bottom line and elevate labor through actionable intelligence and autonomous functions. Additionally, Monarch Tractor has ‘pledged to reduce emissions equivalent to 2.5 million cars by 2024.’ Praveen claims that this initiative will act as an important first step towards achieving their mission for the future.
Aiming to Mitigate a Global Crisis
Monarch Tractor’s roots are planted in principle. The company originated with an initiative focused on promoting clean, sustainable, agricultural practices in the select regions of Napa and Sonoma—The Monarch Challenge. Presently, it has expanded this regional initiative into a global movement. The company is committed to elevating farming practices to enable clean, efficient, and economically viable solutions for the farmers of today and tomorrow.
In the long term, Monarch Tractor aims to help unlock additional sustainability opportunities on farms around the world through its automated, electric platforms and data ecosystems ranging from more efficient electric implements to new sustainable farm initiatives.
The additional responsibility also lies on the shoulders of every individual. Praveen urges people to be environmentally cautious and support and promote the usage of brands and products with eco-friendly initiatives. “Review everything you consume—try to research if it is harming the environment or making it better,” concludes Praveen.
Read full issue: The 10 Innovative Green Tech Companies to watch in 2022