AUGA Group M1 hybrid tractor is testimony to the automotive industry rapidly transitioning to a carbon-neutral future. Prateek Pardeshi explains the technology in principle.

The AUGA Group, regarded as Europe’s largest vertically integrated organic food producer, has set a new benchmark in farm mechanisation. The company last year developed and introduced the world’s first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor for professional farm use. The hybrid AUGA M1 as the first step in line with the company’s strategy to offer green farming solutions is the food supply chain looks promising. The company is determined to eliminate the cost to nature as a result of farming activities from the field to the table. According to scientists, agricultural activity is responsible for nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas pollution in the world.

Kęstutis Juščius, CEO of AUGA group

The use of fossil fuels in agricultural machinery accounts for a significant portion of the emissions. “Three years ago, when we first calculated our emissions, we saw that as much as 30 per cent of it is attributed to the use of fossil fuels in farms. There were simply no solutions to change it,”exclaimed Kęstutis Juščius, Chief Executive Officer, AUGA Group. “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,” he stated. The carbon footprint of farming equipment was increasing dramatically, owing primarily to the use of chemicals for soil fertilisation, digestive processing of cattle, and, most notably, the use of fossil fuels for farming. To resolve this concern, Auga is claimed to have developed a biomethane extract-based solution which feeds on agricultural waste right at the source.

The Patent

The need for storage is a significant disadvantage of using methane as a fuel. To address this concern, Auga was able to design M1 with a fresh approach to building the storage tanks. The tanks are claimed to have been intelligently placed near the tractor’s undercarriage. The tractor’s patented design enables it to accommodate larger biomethane gas cylinders. Furthermore, to overcome the lack of infrastructure requiring farmers to refuel these cylinders with biomethane CNG, cited as a major cost disadvantage, the company devised a solution akin to the battery swaps in case of EVs. AUGA can run for up to 12 hours on a single cartridge. It is enormous in size, measuring six metre long and four metres wide. It can also pull a seven-meter long cultivator. With a top speed of 12 kmph, the Auga M1 is claimed to be a strong contender compared to a standard 400 hp tractor.

Auga has developed a replaceable fuel cartridge that can be installed in a matter of minutes. This is said to allow the tractor to complete a duty cycle for an extended period of time. Now that the fuel supply has been defined, it is time to convert this power and transfer it to the road wheels. The company has created a new hybrid gas electric technology wherein an internal combustion engine powered by bio-methane generates energy and transfers it directly to electric motors.



The wheels are directly mounted on the shafts of the motors, and an additional reserve energy is stored in batteries. As a result, such a system does not waste energy at low loads and employs a relatively small and efficient engine capable of meeting the operator’s needs, The power-to-weight ratio on the Auga M1 is claimed to be a marked improvement over its conventional predecessors.


Linear growth

The AUGA group’s hybrid AUGA M1 tractor for professional farm use was recently named innovation of the year in the green innovation category among enterprises at the international Rimi Baltic Sustainability Awards. The organisers of the award received 323 applications in various categories. An international panel of experts from 12 countries evaluated sustainable solutions from businesses and non-governmental organisations. “The entire AUGA group team is delighted that the AUGA M1 tractor has gained international recognition. Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword, it is becoming an essential part of the strategy and day-to-day operations of enterprises and NGOs,” mentioned Juščius, CEO of AUGA group “We are all affected by climate change, especially in agriculture. We are developing technologies that will allow us to produce food with no cost to nature and deliver it to consumers,” he claims.

Giving a sneak preview into the future, Juščius shared insights on technological developments in the realm of zero emission farm mechanisation and related solutions. In November 2021, the company signed a contract manufacturing agreement for tractors with Rokiškio Mašinų gamykla, specialising in the production of agricultural machinery. In 2022, the AUGA group intends to begin mass tractor production. This innovation will first reach the company’s farms at first before opening up to other farmers. The hybrid Auga M1, for now, seems a stepping stone in the right direction for the company.

Also read, Sonalika launches ‘Tiger Electric’, commences booking

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