AUGA group, Europe’s largest vertically integrated organic food producer, has introduced the world’s first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor for professional farm use: AUGA M1. Until now, sustainable fuel tractors on the market have not been suitable for large-scale farm work.
According to Kęstutis Juščius, CEO of AUGA group, the new technology, on which AUGA M1 is based, will help to create a new food production model on a global scale and reduce the environmental impact of agriculture.
The choice of biomethane as an alternative fuel was not accidental, as it is one of the greenest types of biofuel. Methane, collected from livestock waste and converted to biomethane, offsets more emissions per unit of energy in its production and use cycle than it emits.
“Our invention makes it possible to create a wide range of tractor applications and make it accessible to all farmers who want to work sustainably. We are not developing technology just to solve our own emissions and deliver on the promise of becoming a CO2-neutral company by 2030. Our goal is bigger - we will strive to make this tractor and other technologies that are still being developed available to farmers all over the world and help solve the global problem of pollution in the agricultural sector,” Juščius said.
The hybrid AUGA M1 tractor solves two main obstacles that have so far hindered the prevalence of biomethane-powered tractors: the inefficient refueling process and underdeveloped refueling station infrastructure. The latter was solved by offering quick and convenient gas cartridge replacement; however, Juščius dove deeper when explaining the changes in the refueling process.
""Our team of engineers has found solutions to solve the problem of refueling and ensure uninterrupted operation of the tractor throughout the working day. Currently, biomethane-powered tractors are able to operate for only 2-4 hours because the gas cylinders do not physically fit into the tractor structure. However, farmers need agricultural machinery that can work for 12 hours or more. AUGA group understands this perfectly and has created a solution,” the CEO explained.
AUGA group, based in Lithuania, plans on more sustainable solutions for the food chain in the near future.