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Building autonomous electric tractors

Building autonomous electric tractors

Foxconn will build Monarch tractors in Ohio beginning in 2023

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An electronics manufacturer will begin building autonomous electronic tractors next year.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company known for manufacturing Apple products and Nintendo gaming systems, will build the equipment and battery packs for Monarch Tractor out of a former General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

Monarch’s MK-V tractor currently has 10 hours of runtime, 70 peak hp, 540 PTO and other features.

The tractor’s base price is $58,000.

Autonomous software will be sold separately and farmers would pay monthly fees to access services.

This partnership allows Monarch to reach its target market while also competing with larger manufacturers.

Technology from companies like John Deere and Case IH “is focused on the large farm operations and commodity crops. Fruits and vegetable farmers use much smaller tractors so we are focused on smaller farmers – that differentiates us a lot,” Praveen Penmetsa, CEO of Monarch, told Reuters.

Despite the differences, Monarch does work with larger equipment makers.

In November 2021, for example, CNH entered into an exclusive multi-year technology licensing agreement with Monarch.

The agreement “foresees the launch of a scalable, modular electrification platform focusing on low horsepower tractors,” Case IH said in a statement.

CNH also has a minority stake in Monarch Tractor.

Monarch is also introducing a new tractor before the end of the year.

Monarch plans to unveil its Founder Series in the last quarter of 2022 at the company’s facility in Livermore, Calif.

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