Primordia Mushroom Farm writes:
In 2020, when the pandemic was ripping the economy to shreds throughout the world, we decided this was the best moment to make some really big shifts in our farm. We spent the year upgrading and changing systems toward greater efficiency (both in terms of productivity, and in terms of carbon footprint). The most significant improvement of the year was the installation of 190 solar panels – an installation designed to meet 80% of our electric needs.
In 2021 we purchased our first electric vehicle- for personal use only- but set our sights on ultimately flipping our fleet of 5 vehicles (used for deliveries, markets, pickups, etc) completely over to electric vehicles. We hoped to be able to use these solar produced electrons to distribute our product. We saw the pending release of the ford lightning (electric F150) and got ourselves promptly onto the wait list.
We were initially told that we would only be waiting till October, and that we would need a $5,000 deposit when we made our vehicle order. We knew this would be a lot to come up with all at once for a down payment and asked the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance if they might be able to help- they directed us to their Small Farm Grant program, we applied, and were approved.
Then we waited, and waited, and waited. When we lost our main delivery vehicle to a car accident in mid 2022, (no people harmed, thank goodness!) we knew it was time to take action. We started looking around and researching the electric vehicles on the market- we decided that the Volkswagen ID4 was the vehicle with the largest capacity while also making sure to have enough of a range (200-280 mi) and a small enough price tag to make it viable for our purposes.
We very quickly pounced on this 2021 ID4 (using the grant money to do so), and we have been loving it ever since. We immediately started using our personal electric vehicle for market as well, after seeing the enormous savings in gas money we were already getting using the ID4 for distribution. We have since traded our original persona electric vehicle in for another one with larger capacity and larger range, and we’ve added a third electric vehicle (another ID4), when our cargo van needed to be traded-in. The fact that we have switched to using electric vehicles as our main distribution and market vehicles has saved us at least $10,000 in this past year if not much more- and that has only been since June!
We were so grateful to BCFA for providing us the opportunity to move forward with this shift in our business. It’s also exciting to be able to share with other farmers that the shift to electric vehicles is not only one that is exciting for reducing our carbon footprint, but that it is also a solidly good fiscal decision.