The GE Elec-Trak was the first commercially produced all-electric garden tractor, made mostly between 1969 and 1975. Despite their limited production and availability, many Elec-Traks are still in use today, and have a cult following among tractor and electric vehicle enthusiasts. They are an archetypal or seminal design that has influenced all later electric tractors.
Several models were produced, including: the E8M and ER8-36 (8 hp); the E10M (10 hp); the E12 and E12M (12 hp); the E12S and E15 (14 hp); the E16 (an upgraded version of the E15), and the E20 (16 hp). GE's claimed horsepower figures were somewhat hypothetical, as the 36 volt DC traction motors are not easily comparable to gasoline engines; the table below includes "real" horsepower. The E8M and ER8-36 were styled more as ride-on mowers than tractors. The "M" suffix used on some models indicates the ability to accommodate a mid-mounted (belly) mower, and an "H" was used on some models to indicate a heavy duty, double sized battery pack.
GE also made an industrial version of the Elec-Trak, the I-5. It was orange instead of yellow, and had fenders over the front wheels and attachment points for a roll cage and forklifts of varying heights, but was otherwise identical to the E20.
Elec-trak branded attachments included electric trimmers, edgers, chainsaws, radios, arc welders, fork lifts, front-end loaders, rotary brooms, roller aerators, lawn rollers, dump carts, large vacuums, agricultural sprayers, moldboard plows, row crop cultivators, tillers, disk harrows, sickle bar mowers, belly mowers, front-mounted rotary mowers, front or rear-mounted ganged reel mowers, lawn sweepers, electric rakes, snowblowers, snowplows, golf bag holders, double seats, 120vac rotary inverters, canopy tops, and more. Most of these attachments were connected by a 36VDC "power take off" using a NEMA 10-50 outlet, usually used in the U.S. for 240VAC clothes dryers and thus compatible with readily available cords in most of the USA.
Some time after the final shutdown of the Wheel Horse line in 1983, all remaining parts and dies were sold to Bill Gunn, a dealer in Edgerton, Wisconsin. Eventually Gunn retired and all remaining stock was sold to Jim Coate of the Electric Tractor Store.
Elec-Trak Component Motors
|E12 Drive||5BCE56KB5B||1.5||36||37||3500||2.25||16||Stabilized Shunt||foot||round keyed|
|E15 Drive||5BCY56RA6||1||36||25||2250||1.9/.5||Stabilized Shunt||foot||round keyed||3" dia motor pulley, 6" dia trans pulley|
|E20 Drive||5BCY56TA2||1.2||36||30||2250||1.9/.5||Stabilized Shunt||foot||round, keyed|
|METI Drive||ES-93A-33 D&D||3.5||36||85||2900||5||Shunt||foot||round, keyed|
|GE "JB" Motors||5BC48JB529 / 302||2||36||52||3300||Series||foot||round, keyed||forklift appl|
|7.5" tall Mower Motor||5BPA34NAA7||0.6||36||15||4000||none||PM||flange||round, tapped axial hole||datecode EFN|
|6.5" tall Mower Motor||Bosch/Danaher BA3816-815-1||0.6||36||15||3200||none||PM||flange||round, tapped axial hole|
|"flat" Mower Motor||American Bosch 18222-26-mo48hm||?||36||?||?||?||?||flange||round, tapped axial hole||WH belly mower|
|METI Mower||Scott Motors 4BBX1372||1.25||36||30||3750||none||PM||flange||round, tapped axial hole|
|OEM Snowblower||5BC49JB131A / 142A||2.5||36||66||3100||4.8||22||Compound||foot||round, keyed||brush 1/2x5/8x1.75 #673|
|OEM Lift||5045631 Delco Window Motor||0.25||18||slow||none||PM||flange||Gearbox|
|OEM Tiller||5BC49JB133B||2.5||36||66||3100||4.8||Compound||foot||round, keyed|
- Will, pgs 81-83.
- http://elec-trak.org/ The Elec-Trak owner's club
- Daryl McMahon, www.econogics.com
- Scanned copy of 1972 Attachments and Accessories brochure
- Will, pg. 83
- George Beckett, http://www.myelec-traks.com/history.html
- Steve Shore, http://www.watts-up-elec-traks.com/ge-elec-trak-history.html
- Scanned copy of letter directing customers to Bill Gunn
- GE Elec-Trak owner's discussion forum
- The Elec-Trak owner's club
- Internet Elec-Trak discussion list
- George Beckett's history of the Elec-Trak
- Steve Shore's history of the Elec-Trak
- Garden Tractor Talk's GE forum
- E15 restoration at BuildItSolar
- Mark Frerking on Elec-Traks (Dec 9, 2007)
- Electric Tractors and Mowers at EValbum
- Elec-Traks at Econogics
- Mike Bryce, "The Elec-Trak Rides Again" Home Power #70, April/May 1999
- Jim Coate, "EVs Can Bring RE to the Field" The Natural Farmer September 2005
- Oscar H. Will III, Garden Tractors. Voyageur Press (2009) ISBN 978-0760331965
- Michael A. Martino, Straight from the horse's mouth: The Wheel Horse story. Stemgas Pub. Co (2000) ISBN 978-0970666802
- E. F. Lindsley, "Fantastic Elec-Trak runs on batteries, powers your electric tools too" Popular Science July 1970
- James M. Liston, "GE introduces the Electric Tractor" Popular Mechanics April 1970