New Holland to debut next-gen methane power CNG tractor at Agritechnica

Eco-friendly tractor features an evolution of the methane-fueled engine currently used on the T6.180 Methane Power. The engine, which produces a maximum 270hp under all conditions, has a peak torque of 1,160Nm.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 27 Sep 2023 Views icon4975 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
New Holland to debut next-gen methane power CNG tractor at Agritechnica

At Agritechnica 2023 to be held from November 12-18 in Hanover, Germany, New Holland Agriculture will not only present the next development of its T7 tractor family but also announce the expansion of the brand’s alternative fuels product portfolio.

The new T7.270 Methane Power CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) tractor is making its global debut at the international fair, taking New Holland’s alternative fuel technology further up the power scale, and allowing a broader range of potential buyers to benefit.

Based on the T7 with PLM Intelligence platform, with the latest Horizon Ultra cab, the tractor features the proven NEF 6.7-litre methane-fueled engine already established in the T6.180 Methane Power tractor, but with increased output to match the capabilities and performance expected from a T7 model tractor. The engine’s peak torque is 1,160Nm, and it produces a maximum 270hp under all conditions. This a new engine map, maximising the performance that customers expect in this segment, states New Holland. 

Greater productivity has been made possible by the New Holland design team’s efforts to make full use of the T7’s larger chassis to maximise on-board gas storage.

With a figure of 1,265 litres (219kg on board) , the T7.270 CNG holds 178% more fuel than the T6.180 Methane Power (455 litres/79kg). The result is a tractor that is not only more powerful and capable of working with bigger implements, but can also complete many more working hours between refuelling stops, considerably increasing its productivity and range.

As per the company, because methane is a cleaner-burning fuel, a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system is not required, freeing up space for fuel storage. Furthermore, the T7.270 Methane Power CNG can be used with all methane and biomethane sourced from livestock manure and slurry. It will make it the ideal solution for biodigester operators often running a fleet of multiple haulage tractors. In addition, it is suited to the demands of larger scale arable farms and contractors, and more complex commercial businesses conducting year-round varied applications with heavy-duty implements. 

The new T7.270 Methane Power CNG also features CVT (continuously variable transmission), proving a smoother driving experience and a more efficient fuel consumption. CVT makes this tractor particularly suitable for trailers weighing more than 18 tonnes, typically looking for this type of transmission and for more than 200hp.

While similar to the diesel-powered T7.270, the T7.270 Methane Power CNG differs in a few areas. Beneath the cab the design is significantly different, with new cab supports and the battery relocated to the left-hand side to free space for a larger gas tank. The cab itself is the award-winning Horizon Ultra, the quietest in the industry, with an interior noise level of just 66 decibels, minimizing operator fatigue and maximizing comfort. The Horizon Ultra offers 8% more internal volume, providing more operator room and storage space. Like other T7 models, the T7.270 Methane Power CNG benefits from New Holland’s PLM Intelligence solutions, which integrate digital technologies to allow two-way transfer of machine and field data between the tractor and the MyPLMConnect online portal, allowing owners and managers to monitor machines, and dealers – with permission – to provide remote support.

Data from the European Biogas Association shows that biogas installations continue to increase. There are now over 17,000 biogas plants in the EU, including more than 11,000 in Germany, with France seeing the highest growth since 2017. The potential for biogas is constantly increasing, particularly as many government policies are moving subsidies away from crop-fed to waste-fed AD plants. Moreover, the same European Biogas Association announced 18 billion euro investments in biomethane plants spread all around Europe, between now and 2030.

“We believe it is strategically important to invest in methane, and especially biomethane, to offer buyers the best alternative fuels for the future,” says Carlo Lambro, Brand President of New Holland Agriculture. “Demands for more power to make tractor operations more efficient continue to grow. New Holland’s approach is to fulfil these demands while helping customers maximize profitability, matching this with the requirement for an alternative to diesel to meet the need for sustainability in the sector.”

Oscar Baroncelli, New Holland Agriculture Head of Tractors and Telehandlers, says: ”Whether or not they have experienced a methane-powered tractor, we are confident the T7.270 Methane Power CNG will meet the expectations of farmers and contractors who need this size of tractor. We pioneered commercial production of this type of tractor power with the T6.180 Methane Power. With that model now established and in production at Basildon, the time is right to underline our commitment and add the T7.270 Methane Power CNG, making this technology suitable for an even wider range of uses.”

The first production T7.270 Methane Power CNG tractors are undergoing testing during summer 2023, and units will be available to purchase in the second half of 2024.

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