Farm tractor manufacturer New Holland has let leak that its new NH2 hydrogen fuel cell tractor will be unveiled at the Paris SIMA agricultural show in February. The fuel cell tractor is being developed by New Holland and Iveco (which are both part of Fiat).
The fuel cell tractor will be powered by electric motors and will also use lithium-ion batteries. The fuel cell replaces the standard diesel engine in the vehicle and the styling of the tractor will be similar to the concept vehicle shown at the Italian EIMA show.
New Holland sees farm tractors as a natural partner with hydrogen technology. For instance the fuel cell tractor can refuel at a central station on the farm rather that requiring a vast highway and roadway infrastructure to be built as is the case for hydrogen autos.
In addition, hydrogen on the farm can be produced cleanly using wind, solar, or even biomass to generate the necessary H2 on demand. The idea of a fuel cell farm tractor isn’t totally new however since in 1959 an Allis-Chalmers fuel cell tractor was demonstrated in Milwaukee.
But, this reemerging technology makes sense right up there will hydrogen buses, fuel cell fleet autos and hydrail that also refuel from one central location and don’t have to wait for a hydrogen refueling station to appear on every corner before it becomes viable in the marketplace.