Climate Action Plan - Measure A-1.1

Convert Farm Equipment to Electric

Electric agricultural equipment is quieter and more efficient than diesel- and gasoline-powered engines and produces less emissions. The County is designing a program to offer financial incentives to convert eight percent of diesel- and gasoline-powered farm equipment such as tractors, mulchers, and chainsaws to an electric equivalent by 2030. 
  • 2030 Target: Convert eight percent of equipment to electric

Where are we going?

The County supports cleaner agricultural equipment, healthy air, and energy resilience. In order to achieve these economic and environmental benefits, the County aims to convert a total of eight percent of diesel- or gasoline-powered agricultural equipment in the unincorporated area to electric by 2030. In 2019, the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District distributed $28.5 million in grant funding across the region for greener vehicles, machinery, and equipment through the Clean Air for All Grant Campaign. The program replaced existing farm equipment, machinery, and more with new zero-emission alternatives. In the unincorporated county, 13 tractors and one utility terrain vehicle were replaced under this program.
Through this campaign, funded through the statewide Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emissions Reduction (FARMER) program, APCD provides financial incentives to encourage owners to replace agricultural equipment such as tractors, harvesting equipment, and irrigation pumps for cleaner alternatives. APCD aims to reach potential applicants, educate farmers about benefits and provide technical assistance in submitting applications through implementation of this program.

How is this measured?

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District will examine applications for farm equipment conversion and select candidates that qualify for incentives. The County calculates reductions of air pollutant emissions based on the engine type, size, and model year of the engine running the diesel- or gasoline-powered farm equipment.

Why is this important?

Farm equipment accounted for approximately 52% of greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector in 2014. Converting petroleum-run equipment to cleaner fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions and results in cleaner air. Electric equipment can also connect to the grid or use off-grid alternative/renewable energy sources, such as solar, thereby increasing energy independence. Electric farm equipment can be more fuel efficient than diesel- or gasoline-powered equipment, allow for quiet operation, reduce noise pollution, and decrease operation and maintenance costs.