A major conference on electric transportation wrapped up Thursday in Portland.  Organizer Jeff Allen said they had a number of vehicles on display, including a tractor, showcasing how EV’s can help save farmers money.

“A lot of the diesel that farms burn, they burn idling. Of course, with an electric tractor, you’re not using any fuel if it’s not moving; and electricity is a lot more predictable. It’s regulated. You know what it’s going to cost. We’re also finding they love the fact they’re quiet and they don’t stink."

Allen is the executive director of the group FORTH, which has two electric tractors rotating to various Oregon farms for testing and feedback.  He acknowledged while the tractors are not big, 30-40 horsepower, they could have a big impact on Oregon farms.  He noted there are only a handful of these EV’s in use around the country.  Allen said the high cost of fuel pushes some into the EV market, but the industry is growing for other reasons.

“Batteries and electric drivetrain, and all that technology, the costs have been going down dramatically and quality has been going up dramatically."

And that means the applications for electric technology are expanding.  You’ll find more information on the conference and their work around the state at FORTHmobility.org.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com