Europe’s largest vertically integrated organic food producer, the AUGA Group, has introduced the world’s first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor for professional farm use – the AUGA M1.

AUGA asserted that, up until now, the sustainable fuel tractors available on the market have not been suitable for large-scale farm work – but it was now offering technological solutions that would help eliminate climate pollution throughout the food supply chain.

Chief executive Kęstutis Juščius said: “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.

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“Three years ago, when we first calculated our emissions, we saw that as much as 30% of them come from the use of fossil fuels on farms. There were simply no solutions to change it,” Mr Juščius observed. “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.”

AUGA said its choice of biomethane as an alternative fuel was not accidental, as it was 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," said Mr Juščius. "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."

The hybrid AUGA M1 tractor claims to solve two main obstacles that have so far hindered the progress of biomethane-powered tractors – the inefficient refuelling process and underdeveloped refuelling station infrastructure. The solution is a 'quick and convenient' gas cartridge replacement system.

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“Our team of engineers has found solutions to solve the problem of refuelling and ensure uninterrupted operation of the tractor throughout the working day," he said. "Currently, biomethane-powered tractors are able to operate for only two to four 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."

Mr Juščius claimed that more green solutions from AUGA were on the way, including a technology that would 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."