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New Holland Showcases First Commercial-Ready Methane-Powered Tractor

The new T6.180 Methane Power Tractor from New Holland has the same horsepower and performance as its diesel equivalent, with the added benefit of up to a 30% lower operating cost.

Chintu Das
New Holland T6.180 Tractor
New Holland T6.180 Tractor

On March 10, New Holland Agriculture North America showcased a variety of equipment at their Commodity Classic booth, including the T6.180 Methane Power Tractor, which is the first commercial-ready methane-powered tractor in the United States.

"In terms of horsepower and performance, the methane version of the T6.180 is identical to the diesel version," said Joe Boufford, New Holland product marketing manager. "Instead of a diesel pressure engine, you have a methane-fueled spark ignition gas engine."

The new methane-powered tractor has the same power, torque, and durability as its diesel predecessor, with the added benefit of up to a 30% decrease in operating expenses. It can also run on biomethane or compressed natural gas, giving operators more fuel options.

The new methane-powered tractors are presently being sold across Europe, and configurations for the North American market are being finalised.

"Dealers will be able to order them starting in July 2022, and you'll see tractors on the ground and in inventory in December or January," Boufford added.

When operating biomethane, the T6.180 Methane Power Tractor emits 98 percent less particulate matter and can give a 10-15 percent decrease in CO2 for a negative emission profile.

The machine's after-treatment system is based on a simple, maintenance-free three-way catalyst, which eliminates the need for exhaust gas recirculation, selective catalytic reduction components, and diesel exhaust fluid.

Farmers can produce energy crops and use agricultural waste to generate biomethane and power their tractor with this sustainable fuel to reach near-zero CO2 emissions, making the T6.180 Methane Power Tractor the next step toward zero-carbon farming for New Holland.

Livestock and dairy producers may go even farther by making biomethane from manure, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and leaves a carbon-negative footprint.

"You have all these farms, whether dairy or swine, that are creating methane – waste – instead of simply catching and burning it off," said Boufford. "Why not use it as a potential fuel source?"

A dairy farm with more than 500 heads, according to Boufford, can justify the expense of installing a digester and converting their whole fleet — tractors, trucks, and other equipment – to a methane-based fuel supply.

"You're not only saving money, but you're also removing carbon from the cycle," he explained. "When you have methane from your own farm, it is carbon-negative at that point, and you can market it as such."

"You have a variety of perspectives for your tractor usage, whether it's for feel-good reasons, regulatory reasons, or monetary reasons," Boufford said.

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