World's First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Tractor

new_holland_hydrogen_powerIn February, at the French SIMA show, NEW Holland will launch the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered tractor, named NH2. The company has not revealed the  full details, what we know for sure is that the diesel engine has been replaced by a fuel cell and the vehicle’s only emission is water.

The tractor will also have three lithium ion batteries that will probably be like some kind of buffer between the fuel cell and the electric drivetrain. That part is not so green, because it uses lithium. Everyone knows lithium is becoming more rare and expensive, plus the polluting part of its extraction.

Using water electrolysis technology the hydrogen could possibly be generated on farm and the electricity needs will be supplied by solar or wind power. For the moment, biofuels are a better way to power something up, better than anything else, because they have huge storage capacities, and nothing else has been proven to equal the diesel in terms of energy capacity, except maybe hydrogen. That’s why integrating hydrogen in agriculture is an important step and a testing field for hydrogen storage and fuel cells.


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  • Amazing piece of engineering and design, well ahead of it’s time. Well done, New Holland. However I have concerns about how cost effective hydrogen is to produce and how green that process is.

  • robin

    I had heard about the Allis Chalmers tractor. Do you have any idea where I can find more information about it? Thanks.

  • miller

    Allis Chalmers, now known as AGCO, first demonstated a fuel cell tractor(experimental) in 1959! The company had been experimenting with it since about 1951. They were also successful in several government contracts for fuel cells for space and one for a deep diving submarine. Because of lack of contracts, that division was sold to Teledyne about 1970.

  • I have written some more about the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Tractor on my blog, have a look:-