First Full-Scale Electric Truck—Powered By Cow Manure

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The Straus Family Creamery in Marin County, California, has announced the launch of the ‘first’ full-scale electric truck powered by biomethane created from cow manure.This new full-scale-electric feed truck is the next step in Straus’ quest to show that his organic dairy farm can be carbon positive, using agriculture as a solution to reversing climate change.

image credit: Straus Family Creamery

California dairy farmer Straus Family is a pioneer in organic dairy and sustainable agriculture. The new truck is the next step in the dairy’s quest to show that it can be carbon positive, using agriculture as a solution to reversing climate change.

image credit: Straus Family Creamery

Albert Straus, CEO and founder of the Straus Family Creamery, along with a local mechanic, spent eight years developing the 33,000 lb. (13600kg) gross weight International Harvester to use as a feed truck on his farm.

image credit: Straus Family Creamery

The truck measures, mixes and hauls feed before dropping it into a trough for the farm’s 300 organic dairy cows. The feed truck’s motor is charged from electrical power generated from methane gas produced by the cow’s own manure.

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California’s new greenhouse gas reduction laws, which include methane emission targets of 40% below 2013 levels by 2030, are putting pressure on the state’s dairy farmers. The state’s Air Resources Board says that much of the reduction should come from converting methane from cow manure into energy. Dairy manure accounts for about a quarter of the state’s methane emissions.

“What I’ve tried to do is create a sustainable organic farming model that is good for the earth, the soil, the animals, and the people working on these farms, and helps revitalise rural communities,” said Straus.“My electric feed truck is not only a practical tool for my organic farm. It is also a symbol of the resourcefulness we need to fight climate change, which threatens our business and the future of American farming.”