The electric vehicle market has transformed from focusing on sedans to a market that now is tackling trucks, vans and long-range semis. Could tractors be next?
Ideanomics Entry: Small cap company Ideanomics (NASDAQ: IDEX) invests in fintech and electric vehicle companies. In November, Ideanomics increased its stake in Solectrac, one of its portfolio companies, to 24%.
“We would like to play an important part,” CEO Alf Poor said while speaking at the Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference this past week.
In a release announcing the increased stake, Poor said Solectrac “has enormous potential and, given the uptick in both product inquiries and investment interest they are seeing, we exercised our rights to increase our stake so we can help Solectrac scale to meet anticipated market demand.”
About Solectrac: The global agricultural tractor industry is worth $75 billion. Solectrac claims to be the first North American company to offer a 100% battery-powered all-electric tractor.
The company offers three electric tractor models, with a fourth in the design stage. The eUtility tractor has a sales price of $45,000 in North America and $49,500 internationally.
The eUtility has a battery that lasts from four to eight hours and can be charged to 80% in three hours.
Ideanomics is pitching electric tractors at affordable price points to make them attractive to small markets and the larger global market.
The company is working with OEMs to bring larger tractors to market in North America and Europe, Poor said at the Benzinga Global Small Cap Conference.
Solectrac’s home state of California is responsible for 12.5% of U.S. agricultural production, Poor wrote in a company letter in October.
The company can take advantage of Ideanomic’s China operations to lower costs and make the motor and battery supply chains more efficient, he said.
“The future of electric tractors has never looked brighter,” Poor wrote.
Sizing Up Competition: Solectrac isn’t the only player in this space. Monarch Tractor plans to bring a fully electric, autonomous tractor to market in 2021.
The Monarch Tractor comes with a starting price of $50,000. Electrek calls the tractor a “game changing smart electric tractor” with the driver optional.
CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI) is working on clean energy offerings in the tractor market. The company has a zero-emission electric backhoe called Project Zeus and is also looking to power some vehicles with hydrogen.
Price Action: Shares of Ideanomics are up over 140% year-to-date.
Photo courtesy Solectrac.
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