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The GE Elec-Trak was the first commercially produced all-electric garden tractor, made mostly between 1969 and 1975.[1] Despite their limited production and availability, many Elec-Traks are still in use today[2] and have a cult following among tractor and electric vehicle enthusiasts.[3] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[3][4] 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.[citation needed]

After the shutdown of production at GE, Elec-Traks were produced under the Wheel Horse[5] and Avco New Idea[6][7] labels.

Some time after the final shutdown of the Wheel Horse line in 1983, all remaining parts and dies were sold to Bill Gunn,[8] a dealer in Edgerton, Wisconsin. Eventually Gunn retired and all remaining stock was sold to Jim Coate of the Electric Tractor Store.[6][7]

Elec-Trak Component Motors[edit]

Motor Model/ID # HP Volts Amps RPM If Rf Winding Mounting Shaft Notes
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 Series flange Gearbox
OEM Tiller 5BC49JB133B 2.5 36 66 3100 4.8 Compound foot round, keyed