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Forskningsartikel2023Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Impact of lowered vehicle weight of electric autonomous tractors in a systems perspective

Lagnelov, Oscar; Larsson, Gunnar; Larsolle, Anders; Hansson, Per-Anders


Modern agriculture rely on heavy machinery that has increased risk of detrimental soil compaction of arable fields. This can lead to negative effects such as reduced yields, reduced field trafficability and increased fuel use. Electric, autonomous tractors makes it possible to replace one heavy machine with several lighter without increased labour costs. In this study, the economic and environmental effects of reduced soil compaction for smaller autonomous tractors were assessed and compared to a scenario with conventional tractors. A discrete event simulation of a Swedish 200 ha grain farm with clay soil was used for the calculations. The electric, autonomous system had lower soil compaction impacts as well as other benefits, and reduced cost in total from 385 to 258 euro ha-1 and the climate impact from 270 to 77 kg CO2eq ha-1 compared to the conventional scenario. Soil compaction constituted 20% of the cost and 26% of the climate impact for the conventional scenario. It was concluded that soil compaction was impactful in machinery studies, especially on heavier soil like clay, and should not be omitted. Soil compaction avoidance alone was not impactful enough to warrant a change to electric, autonomous tractors but it reinforced already existing trends and further improved the cost and environmental benefits.


Agriculture; Soil compaction; Automation; Simulation; Electric vehicles; Life cycle assessment

Publicerad i

Smart agricultural technology
2023, Volym: 4, artikelnummer: 100156Utgivare: ELSEVIER