Vaudreuil-Soulanges farm going electric for its deliveries
By John Jantak
PHOTO COURTESY TOURNE-SOL COOPERATIVE FARM
Tourne-Sol is purchasing a used 6000kg box truck which Ecotuned Automobile will convert by installing their proven electric drive train and battery packs.
A small organic farm in Vaudreuil-Soulanges is going another step beyond what it has already achieved in terms of zero-emission farming and is now acquiring an electric delivery truck.
The Tourne-Sol Cooperative Farm in Les Cèdres has decided to partner with electric vehicle conversion pioneers Ecotuned Automobile in Varennes, Quebec. Tourne-sol Farm purchased a used 6000kg box truck which Ecotuned Automobile will convert by installing their proven electric drive train and battery packs.
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Reid Allaway, Organic Farmer and electric vehicle enthusiast at the Tourne-Sol Cooperative Farm inside one the farm’s greenhouses in Les Cèdres.
The electrified Ford E-450, or ‘Elec-truck’ as they’re calling it, will be the latest in a long string of electric conversions by and for the farm team, a pursuit that has seen them become local leaders in promoting the use of electric power for agriculture. Tourne-Sol has already converted most of the farm’s other vehicles and tools but for their delivery vehicle, the required engineering is beyond the scope of a DIY project.
“We started with other smaller machines and vehicles on the farm – utility vehicles, smaller tools and eventually some of our tractors. We found that every time we converted a machine to electric power we liked it a lot more. It was nicer to use, safer, quieter and we got away from the fossil fuels, not just the emissions but also the other negatives,” said Reid Allaway, Organic Farmer and Electric Vehicle enthusiast.
“We first converted a utility vehicle. It seemed like a neat idea and it started replacing one of tractors that was just doing a lot of driving around the field picking up on harvest days. Our success with that and the degree to which it was superior to a similar machine burning fossil fuels really encouraged us to start looking further at how we could expand this adoption process for our farm,” said Allaway.
The Ecotuned conversion will result in a safe and reliable vehicle that will serve the farm and its customers for years to come, delivering local food emissions-free. Cooler still, the electric drive train and batteries are designed to outlive the truck they propel and will be transplanted into multiple Ford donor vehicles over years or even decades – retiring a gas V8 or V10 every time, but without the ecological footprint of a new truck.
Technology is ready
“While truck builders talk about moving to electrified delivery vehicles, we’re not prepared to wait another five to 10 years for it to trickle down to us. We want to cut our emissions now and demonstrate that this technology is ready to be put on the road,” said Allaway.
“It’s time we all start thinking differently about our transportation habits if we want the climate crisis to be anything other than a catastrophe. We believe that getting this truck on the road is our best contribution to changing how we work and how others perceive the options before us,” Allaway added.
The Tourne-Sol Cooperative Farm grows vegetables for 700 families in Vaudreuil-Soulanges and the West Island.
“We also grow seed crops that we sell through our online store and through displays in retailers across Canada,” said Allaway. “We’ve been in operation since 2005.”
For more info on the Tourne-Sol cooperative farm and this initiative, consult www.fermetournesol.qc.ca/