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All I want for Christmas...is an electric tractor!

All I want for Christmas...is an electric tractor!

Thursday 24 December 2020

All I want for Christmas...is an electric tractor!


Sark Seigneur Christopher Beaumont and his family are believed to be the first in the British Isles to buy a cutting-edge all-electric tractor, as they hope to "lead the way" on making the island a greener place.

The Farmtrac 25G 4x4 tractor was shipped over to Sark earlier this month and driven by the Major's daughter, Sibyl Rees-Beaumont, to the Seigneurie, where it will be used as a "workforce" fulfilling the family's needs.

Fed up with their ageing, clunky diesel tractor, Major Beaumont found inspiration for a more compact and sustainable replacement while watching the TV this summer. 

"It was Countryfile that first brought it to my attention, they were doing a segment in conjunction with Fully Charged on this electric tractor."

Major Beaumont made contact with its manufacturers and purchased what is believed be the first of its type to be sold in the British Isles.  

Pictured: Miss Rees-Beaumont testing out the tractor in Guernsey before it was shipped over to Sark. 

"We will be using it for carting stuff around for events we hold here and anything that needs to be moved around as a product of working the land," he said. "It is really just a workhorse that can be used for grass-cutting and some light industrial work."

Although he is an "early adopter" of electric tractors - which are, as expected, more expensive to buy than their diesel equivalents - he believes that international bans on the future sale of petrol and diesel vehicles could pave the way to similar restrictions on farming machinery. 

"I think the size of the tractor is suitable for most activities on Sark, although it clearly won’t work for major carting, ploughing or agricultural work. It is noticeably quiet, which is its main attribute."

"It is a big investment, it is not something you can do lightly, but it is driven by social responsibility and by the price of electricity here in Sark."

segneurie_solar_panels.jpg

Pictured: La Segneurie was taken off-grid by Major Beaumont and now relies on solar energy, using battery technology when the sun doesn't shine.

"Generating electricity myself is costing me 16p per unit compared to 54p if I was buying it from Sark Electricity."

Earlier this year, The Little Green Energy Company completed the installation of solar technology across the historic house and grounds. Speaking to Express at the time, Major Beaumont revealed an idea to transform Sark's grid into "an electricity trading platform", however that would require co-operation from Sark Electricity, whose approach to renewable energy has not instilled the Seigneur with much hope. 

"I think the energy question is going to hang around, but it has a long way to go yet," he said. 

"I am only halfway to being renewable – the aim is to reduce the carbon footprint of the house to zero. It just needs people to lead the way and to show that it can be done, and I hope to be one of them."

Pictured: Major Beaumont jovially described the tractor as an "early Christmas present" for his daughter Sibyl.

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