Mechanization and Technology

STEYR® and TU Wien Unveil Fctrac Biogenic Hydrogen–powered Tractor Project

02 July 2024, Italy: Developed in collaboration between engineers at the CNH tractor plant in St. Valentin and TU Wien, an innovative hydrogen fuel cell-powered STEYR® concept tractor has 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.

The STEYR FCTRAC hydrogen fuel cell tractor project aim was end-to-end sustainability, via a BioH2Module developed to complement the tractor. This produces hydrogen from biogenic raw materials and residues, meaning 15-16 kg dry biomass is needed to produce hydrogen equivalent to around 3.5 l of Diesel. The power unit only emits water vapour, and there is no compromise in terms of power – with the tractor meeting the demanding requirements of agricultural work in the same manner as a diesel-powered equivalent.

The FCTRAC, which has a 14 kWh high-voltage battery and 400 V electrical system, develops 95 kW, matching its diesel equivalent. 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,” says 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 honour 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 concluded.

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