Steyr, TU Wien unveil fuel cell tractor

Tractor was developed in Austria and debuted there, too

CNH The TU Wien fuel cell tractor project is based on a Steyr 4140 Expert CVT tractor. (Photo: CNH)

Developed in collaboration between engineers at the CNH tractor plant in St. Valentin, Austria, and TU Wien (the Vienna University of Technology) in Vienna, Austria, a new hydrogen fuel cell-powered Steyr concept tractor recently made its public debut.

The FCTRAC was developed as part of a national research project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and led by the Institute of Powertrains and Automotive Technology (IFA) at TU Wien. Based on a standard Steyr 4140 Expert CVT tractor, the development was a collaborative effort between CNH’s St. Valentin-based engineering team and their project partners from science and industry, who worked together to design, create, homologate and test the tractor and its hydrogen fuel cell power unit.

CNH said the aim of the Steyr FCTRAC hydrogen fuel cell tractor project was end-to-end sustainability, via a BioH2Module developed for the application. This produces hydrogen from biogenic raw materials and residues, which the company said means 15-16 kg dry biomass is needed to produce hydrogen equivalent to around 3.5 L of diesel fuel. The power unit only emits water vapor, and there is no compromise in terms of power – CNH said the tractor meets the requirements of agricultural work in the same manner as a diesel-powered equivalent.

CNH The TU Wien fuel cell tractor project was supported by CNH. (Photo: CNH)

The FCTRAC, which has a 14 kWh high-voltage battery and 400 V electrical system, develops 95 kW. The fuel cell and electric drive systems take the place of the diesel engine, while the fuel tank is replaced by a compressed hydrogen storage system and a high-voltage battery.

“The Steyr FCTRAC attracted considerable attention recently at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, venue for the Austrian State Prize for Technology awards, for which it was nominated in the ‘Mobility Technologies category, a section which honours groundbreaking Austrian technical innovations,” said Marco Lombardi, head of Case IH and Steyr brands EMEA.

“The category focuses on the research and development of sustainable, climate-neutral and intelligent mobility technologies. We were delighted to play a crucial role, together with TU Wien, in developing the FCTRAC, and it was an honor to participate in the ceremony. This tractor not only embodies the sustainable future our industry strives for, but also solidifies CNH’s position as a leader in alternative fuel innovations. We are looking forward to further working on this very exciting project,” he said.

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