LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Foxconn announced the start of production of new fully-electric, driver-optional smart tractors at its Lordstown facility.

The company showed its initial five Monarch MK-V tractors that rolled off the production line Tuesday for delivery to customers in what executives are calling a “milestone day.”

The new Monarch MK-V tractors were produced over the last two weeks. Monarch co-founder Mark Schwager said the focus, for now, will be selling the autonomous tractors to smaller farms in California where Monarch is based.

“We are sold out for the majority of this year, and we’re scaling up here pretty significantly over the next couple of months,” Schwager said.

Those pushing the development of the tractors say they will allow them to use fewer pesticides on their properties while also reducing the need for diesel-powered tractors, which hurt the environment.

“We’re independent. We’re able to get into the energy business, and we’re able to protect our planet while we migrate away from fossil fuel, so this is a big piece,” said Carlo Mondavi, co-founder of Monarch.

While we wait for production to begin on the new Fisker PEAR and prototypes of the Indiev Indi 1, Foxconn Vice President of EV Production Rick Rajaie said the company is working to reach agreements with even more automotive partners.

“We need to do our part. Our part to drive business and transform the Mahoning Valley into the Voltage Valley,” Rajaie said.

Executives are not saying much about when those announcements will happen.

“My short answer is very soon,” Rajaie said.

In June, Foxconn signed a manufacturing agreement with Zimeno, Inc. (Monarch Tractor) to build its next-generation agricultural equipment and battery packs in Lordstown.

The MK-V includes technology to help prevent farm-related injuries, whether the tractor is being
driven or performing driverless tasks. Each MK-V is produced with collision prevention, human
detection and power take-off (PTO) protection. The tractor will stop moving if it detects a human within six feet of the tractor, and the PTO will automatically shut off if the system detects a person within one foot of the PTO.

Foxconn began commercial production of Monarch Tractor’s MK-V Series in the first quarter of
this year. The next steps include tuning the production line and material sourcing in preparation for full-rate production.