Engines ready for the "green revolution"
Vehicles powered by environmentally friendly fuels are already a reality for tractor engine manufacturers. The central role of innovation in view of the likely breakthroughs to be made by Brussels to reduce C02 emissions
New engine technologies for the reduction of gaseous emissions: this is one of the central themes for the agricultural machinery sector, which is set to be a major issue in the coming years.
The European Union has announced a crackdown on CO2 emissions, even though new provisions have not yet led to the indication of a deadline for the entry into force of the ban on the sale of endothermic engines for self-propelled agricultural vehicles.
Experts, representatives of institutions and manufacturers discussed the evolution of the regulatory and technological scenario at EIMA in Bologna in October during the conference entitled "Green Deal and Powertrain technology", promoted by Macchine Trattori magazine. "For now, we are talking about working plans that are open to improvements, which can be made by all the players in the agricultural world," said Marco Pezzini, head of the EU policy sector of FederUnacona, the federation of Italian manufacturers. This is a somewhat reassuring message in view of the recently circulated hypothesis that the ban should come into force in a binding way as early as 2035.
However, the agricultural machinery industry is ready to face the green revolution, as the companies in the sector confirm.
"We are working on two lines of engine optimisation to make them run on environmentally friendly fuels," explains Diego Rotti, Product Marketing Manager Off-Road at Fpt Industrial, "but it will still take time to develop solutions based on hydrogen or electrification." "In any case, there are already hybrid or methane engines with a lower environmental impact," says Rotti.
The road has been mapped out, as Stefano Fiorani, Tractor Innovation Manager at New Holland Agriculture, confirms.
"We are ready," says Fiorani, "to meet the demands coming from Europe, our company has already put into production machines with methane engines and we have created a prototype of a specialised electrified tractor."
Companies are already building the future. But they urge the European Commission's senior members to remember that the agricultural sector has several souls, from animal husbandry to extensive farming to specialised farming. All sectors that use completely different machines and require different technologies. "Change - Pezzini concludes - should not frighten us. However, it is essential that companies work as a team."