AUGA Group launches hybrid biomethane and electric tractor
AUGA group claims to have introduced the world’s first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor, AUGA M1, for professional farm use.
Until now, sustainable fuel tractors available on the market have not been suitable for large-scale farm work. This is the company’s first step in offering technological solutions that aim to address climate pollution throughout the food supply chain and foster sustainable agriculture.
According to a recent study, food systems are responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and a large part of it is due to the use of fossil fuels in agricultural machinery.
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.
“We are ready to provide consumers around the world with food at no cost to nature. By eating such food, people themselves will make a positive impact on climate change daily. And we are sure that more and more people want to live like this,” he said.
“Three years ago, when we first calculated our emissions, we saw that as much as 30 percent of them come from the use of fossil fuels on farms. There were simply no solutions to change it.
"That is why we have taken the lead in developing technologies that will allow us to create a new standard for sustainable agriculture and drastically reduce pollution throughout the food value chain. The first result of this work is a biomethane and electric tractor.”
Powered by biofuel
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," said Juščius.
"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."
Tackling long-standing innovation barriers
The hybrid AUGA M1 tractor solves two main obstacles that have so far hindered the prevalence of biomethane-powered tractors: the inefficient refuelling process and underdeveloped refuelling station infrastructure. The latter was solved by offering quick and convenient gas cartridge replacement.
"Our team of engineers has found solutions to solve the problem of refuelling 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."
Building an eco-aware community with sustainable tech
Following the global strategy of agricultural technologies (AgTech), Juščius noted that more solutions, which will help ensure the sustainability of the entire food chain, will be presented in the near future. Currently, the company’s experts are developing green technology that will eliminate carbon emissions from the soil and the digestive process of cattle.
“Our innovations will bring together a global community of responsible consumers, smart farmers, and bold investors. It will ensure real change by creating an environmentally friendly food supply chain, and will allow implementing the vision of AUGA group – to become synonymous with sustainable food and lifestyle,” said Juščius.
Confronting agriculture's emissions problem
Agriculture is responsible for 45% of methane emissions globally and 80% of Nitrous Oxide emissions, according to McKinsey research.
It says reducing agriculture emissions will require changing how we farm; what we eat; how much we waste; and how we manage our forests and natural carbon sinks.
A set of proven GHG-efficient farming technologies and practices, which are already being deployed, could achieve about 20 percent of the sector’s required emissions reduction by 2050.
"Without swift action, emissions in agriculture will continue to grow and contribute to heating the planet to dangerous levels," it concludes.