New Holland methane fuelled tractor

New Holland’s methane tractor’s FPT six-cylinder engine develops 132kW (180hp) and 740Nm of torque but with 30% lower running costs and virtually zero emissions when fuelled with farm-grown and digested energy crops

Enthusiasm for exploring the practicality and cost effectiveness of likely alternatives to diesel is the motive behind the creation of a methane gas-fuelled tractor by New Holland.

The sleek looking model, that may give some clues to possible future design language for commercial tractors, is based on a New Holland T6.180 and produces up to 132kW (180hp) and 740Nm of torque – the very same output as its diesel-fuelled counterpart.

Bonding frameless glass to the cab frame minimises interruptions to the all-round visibility

However, while engine performance is similar in terms of power and torque, combustion research and development has resulted in what New Holland claim as ground-breaking efficiency from the concept tractor’s FPT six-cylinder engine.

It only incurs 30% of the diesel-fuelled engine’s running costs and is also about 50% quieter in terms of drive-by noise – or up to 3dBA in decibel measurement terms.

Furthermore, the tractor has recorded a CO2 cut of at least 10% and 80% in terms of total emissions during supervised paddock tests.

An added advantage is when you fuel the engine with bio-methane produced by digesting crop residues and farm-grown energy crops – as New Holland envisages in its Energy Independent Farm concept – and CO2 emissions are virtually zero.

Beyond the tractor’s apparent ‘green’ credentials, the need to hide bulky gas tanks has resulted in a futuristic wrap-around styling theme for the bodywork.

Minimalist design for established controls and portable device connectivity are also part of the study

And the New Holland design team has also taken the opportunity to explore other possibilities too, including bonding the large panes of glass to the cab pillars as on many current car builds.

A ‘floating’ roof helps to maximise visibility horizontally and upwards to a loader – although unlike the Panoramic cab option from one of its competitors, New Holland has not managed to eliminate a rail across the top of the windscreen, that currently interrupts the upwards view.

The CNH Industrial business unit has pursued its Clean Energy Leader strategy for more than a decade.

Being the first manufacturer to offer 100% compatibility with biodiesel in 2006, then producing a hydrogen-fuelled tractor in 2009 and creating a propane-fuelled tractor in 2012.

Take a look at other innovations being developed by New Holland Agriculture at