Subsidized agricultural diesel drives the electric tractor astray: words from the university professor, now retired, Ugo Bardi. Chair in chemistry in Florence, where he had RAMseS built and put on the road more than 10 years ago.
That first electric agricultural vehicle thanks to the work of three companies in the Emilia-Romagna e-valley – Electrical system, Flash battery, Motor Brusa – the passion of Simply, an association of volunteers from Genoa, and our communication campaign SEA RAMseSbeing restored. Almost ready to return to the field.
With Professor Bardi Vaielettrico.it, RasmSes resumes its creation and takes stock development of agricultural vehicle electrification. A phenomenon under development, where in addition to interesting Italian excellence – think of Del Morino, Peruzzo – the big ones like CNH, Goldoni, Carraro, Landini, Merlo are moving. Robots are also seen in the field – from Dino to Orio via Farmdroid.
Subsidies for agricultural diesel distort competition with electricity
Based on experience with RAMseS Professor Bardi talks about the prospects for electric agricultural machinery: “If diesel fuel is supplied, f purchased at a low price is counterfeit the farmer’s choice, but it will not be possible to continue forever with fossil fuel subsidiesThe professor gives a concrete example: “RAMseS is the fruit of the work of Tonfic El Asmor, agronomist of Lebanese origin, great expert in agriculture in Africa and Asia, sadly died two years ago and with him after building it we have experienced it in some Middle East countries“.
How did it go? “IN Iran we recorded the response we expected. The car it was competitive only partially, a ecological and non-economic benefits, but because you do not pay for the pollution. They also always collapse from a budgetary point of view, and we do not see the disadvantage of pollution“. What to do? “That The state should not interfere in prices and the farmer would at this point go alone to ask and choose the most convenient alternative. The electric“.
Ten years have passed, electric cars are no longer a novelty on the streets, and electric agricultural machinery is also on the rise in the fields: “Today producing energy from solar and wind energy costs less; Before lead-acid batteries were used today there are lithium-ion batteries they provide more autonomy and are easier to manage. If they are powered by the energy produced on the farm, they become competitive, the low price of agricultural diesel always remains“.
Decarbonization not only in the field
“Over 10 years ago, we thought of many things, started various initiatives and worked through it all solar cell and other systems. We only managed to make one prototype: it tractor that we can define multipurpose. AND’ good for transport, picking fruits and vegetables, irrigation and other processing. Yes it has zero pollution thanks to solar energy, which is getting cheaper than before“.
Professor Ugo Bardi invites expand your gaze from the field to the streets, department stores, platforms and store shelves.
“But the farmer produces it the problem is the whole food chain. There is from calculate environmental costs of distribution then transport, freezing, cooling and packaging. There are too many steps that require energy and the product we find on the shelf was produced in the field with only 10% of the energy throughout the cycle“.
A dangerous process: “This the chain is powered by fossil fuels. Let us take the product of the sea, the fruit of one supply chain designed in the 1950s and which led to the destruction of shoals of fish in the Atlantic and their exhaustion in the Pacific. Finally stick will cost the same as caviar. The length of the food chain needs to be reorganized and fossil fuels eliminated“.
But the heavier machines …? What about hydrogen? “A madness”
Good for agricultural robots low consumption, bone product collection machines in the field, good small and medium-sized tractors more and more widespread. But in the market larger units are missing. “The most powerful electric tractor is not easy to make. ONE the combine is energy intensive, but you get there. By the 1930s, they had installed large overhead linesA kind of power system like trolleybuses. “It takes a little creativity, with the diesel engine you can do everything, but how much does it cost you in terms of energy?As a chemistry professor he also has great confidence in new, more powerful and sustainable batteries.
And hydrogen? “ONE follygood for ships and other large vessels. Unthinkable for a small farm control this type of power supply. If not distort the market across diesel oil gift then the convenience comes out“.
Alternative fuels? “For a long time a fantastic ambaradàn but we are always there “.
What are you hoping for then? “That would help Eleon Musk that how did a nice car I canto invent a tractor that meets the needs of farmersCreativity may be stimulated by the rules set by the President Cnh Industrial Emea, Carlo Alberto Sisto: “We have a specific guideline to come prepared when there is provisions. Currently does not touch usbut let us try to understand what the new rules are ”.
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