New Holland is no stranger to alternative fuels and technology in its tractors, having dabbled with hydrogen and autonomous battery-powered models in the past. In another attempt to move away from diesel, the agricultural giant has just unveiled the T6.180 Methane Power.

Much like its predecessor – the T6.140 Methane Power – the latest New Holland tractor is just a prototype, designed to raise awareness about the potential of alternative fuel for farmers. At the moment, that vehicle is touring farms in Brazil, where the company is subjecting it to a set of tests exploring how effective bio-methane could be compared to diesel.

The new T6.180, which is currently on display at the SIMA Agribusiness show in Paris, is fitted with a compressed-methane-powered NEF6 engine. Fuel is stored in nine integrated tanks, giving the tractor identical ground clearance to a regular diesel mode. The 52-kg (115-lb) total capacity allows for around half a day of work without a fill-up.

Compared to a conventional diesel tractor, New Holland says its methane models can save up to 25 percent on fuel costs alone, all the while emitting 80 percent less CO2. According to the company, it already meets the emissions standards expected to hit Europe in 2020. For even greater emissions cuts, the tractor can even be powered using bio-methane produced on-site.

"The T6 Methane Power tractor is one of the cornerstones of our Clean Energy Leader strategy, which we launched 10 years ago to increase farming efficiency and sustainability," said Carlo Lambro, Brand President. "Today we see methane and propane as the fuels with the greatest potential for the development of technologies that deliver on all fronts: performance, costs and sustainability."

Source: New Holland

View gallery - 6 images