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T4 Electric and T7 Methane Power, New Holland is already in the future

by Valentino Federici
November 2023 | Back

New Holland's race towards alternative engines does not stop. From the electric T4 to the methane T7, the Cnh Industrial brand is looking confidently towards new propulsion systems and will be at Agritechnica with a whole host of novelties.

We start with the tractor that the company itself calls the first milestone on the path towards electrification, the T4 Electric Power, which will make its European debut in Hanover.

It is the first and only fully electric utility tractor and represents the most recent development in New Holland and CNH Industrial's strategic plan for electrification. As a fully battery-powered BEV - Battery Electric Vehicle, the tractor is emission-free without an endothermic engine.

The T4 Electric Power has a maximum output of 120 Hp, a maximum torque of 440 Nm and a top speed of 40 km/h. The battery offers a range of up to a full day's use (depending on the workload) and can be recharged in just one hour using a fast-charging system.

New Holland test results showed a reduction in operating costs of up to 90 per cent, thanks to the elimination of diesel fuel and maintenance of the internal combustion engine costs. In addition to all the benefits offered by the electrified powertrain, enhanced by Smart Roof technology, the T4 Electric Power also offers several autonomous features designed to reduce the total cost of ownership, assist the operator while driving, improve performance and overall application quality, and make the best use of the operator's skills.

The Smart Roof consists of a unique 'awareness' or 360-degree surveillance system that integrates sensors, cameras and control units to detect and avoid obstacles, synchronise multiple machines and monitor the status of processes.

Among the most outstanding features is the Follow Me mode that allows the tractor to follow the operator when he is out of the cab, which is very useful in dozens of everyday farm situations, such as passing through gates or feeding livestock. Similarly, Shadow mode allows the operator to steer the machine from the outside using gesture control, thus avoiding the need to remain inside the cab at all times. With the real-time Live View function, farmers have their fleet literally in the palm of their hand on their mobile phones while, with Fleet Management, managers from the office can assign tasks to each tractor in the fleet in the field. The Implement Recognition function ensures that the tractor seamlessly connects to the required implement.

Commercial production of the T4 Electric Power is expected to start by 2023 in the United States and then arrive shortly in the Old World.


T7 Methane Power doubles range

The New Holland T7 Methane Power LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) will be one of the brand's key machines at Agritechnica. With the tractor, currently a prototype destined for production also comes a new design approach that will be adopted for future tractor ranges. The tractor was created by CNH Industrial's design team, opting for a new color called "Clean Blue," aesthetic features that match the brand's new distinctive design with the iconic leaf symbol integrated into the redesigned hood, LED taillights and rear pillar. The cab incorporates a glass skydome roof that replaces the classic canopy.

The new T7 Methane Power LNG is designed to meet the growing need for high-horsepower machines (in this case up to 270 Hp) with lower emissions and reduced operating costs without ever sacrificing performance.

New Holland considers the T7 Methane Power LNG a diesel-equivalent machine not only in terms of performance capabilities but also in terms of range since the tractor can complete a day's work without the need for refueling or additional range extender tanks.

With the LNG fuel system, New Holland offers more than double the range of its current T6.180 Methane Power tractor. This is because using liquefied methane offers four times the fuel storage capacity compared to using compressed gas (CNG).

The T7 Methane Power LNG uses an active temperature-controlled fuel system (patented), which includes a cryogenic stainless steel tank shaped to match its diesel counterpart, maximizing the storage capacity of liquefied methane inside the tractor.

The system features a self-supporting void space that isolates the fuel inside, allowing the tank thickness to be reduced.

In terms of fuel, the T7 Methane Power LNG can be fueled by liquefied biomethane from manure and livestock manure, further expanding the tractor's sustainability credentials.

This solution complements the system proposed by Bennamann, a U.K.-based start-up partner of New Holland (which acquired its majority stake) focused on innovation in fugitive methane collection, treatment and storage, with the goal of harnessing the benefits of the circular economy for customers.

Bennamann's solution can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of an average livestock farm, as well as limit the use of chemical fertilizers.

Collected manure is transferred to special storage facilities, and slurry to a covered tank, where fugitive methane emissions (along with other polluting gases) are captured, purified, and converted to liquefied methane by a processing plant.

From farm waste to the production of fugitive liquid biomethane to the use of this as the sole fuel for the T7 Methane Power LNG also on the same farm-all of this results in a negative carbon footprint of the tractor.


Combine harvesters with weed control system

Agritechnica will also see the premiere of an innovative new management feature for weed control intended for CR combines with 559 mm (22-inch) rotors (CR8.90/9.90/10.90). Developed by the Australian company Seed Terminator, the unit, which bears the same name, uses multi-stage hammer mills to pulverize weed seeds along with chaff to inhibit their ability to germinate once they settle on the ground, thereby helping users reduce the weed load in the next harvest.

One of the key features of the technology, which differentiates it from any other available on the market, is the aggressiveness of the system, which can be adjusted according to demand.


Previewing the redesigned CR flagship

As part of major developments in high-capacity harvesting at Agritechnica, an unprecedented design for combines in this segment will be previewed.

The new design was created at New Holland's Harvesting Center of Excellence in Zedelgem, Belgium, where the combines will be produced. With the most advanced automation features, it will offer improvements in productivity, grain loss and handling, and fuel yield over New Holland's current flagship combine range, the CR, the leader of which is the CR10.90, which has held the world record for grain harvested in eight hours - 797.656 tons - set on August 15, 2014, for nearly a decade.

As we approach the 50th anniversary (in 2025) of New Holland's pioneering Twin Rotor™ technology, the new combine will further highlight the benefits of this important innovation that has revolutionized the way farmers harvest and has become an integral part of New Holland's DNA. And it is also thanks to Twin Rotor technology that the new CR is able to offer the lowest grain breakage rate on the market.

New Holland designed the new CR in view of evolving harvesting needs and in response to feedback from customers who demand greater capacity, higher performance, and maximum protection of product quality. Keeping in mind that higher-yielding crops and unpredictable weather conditions can affect harvesting from one season to the next, New Holland engineers wanted to design a machine that can fully play its role in providing maximum productivity and quickly complete harvesting in order to safeguard quality and make sure that the next crop can be harvested on time and under ideal conditions.

Close collaboration between the Industrial Design and Engineering teams, together with product specialists, produced a design focused on customer needs, with form truly suited to function. The result is an iconic and renewed design that is elegant and timeless. The flow of the crop is highlighted on the exterior paneling by the dynamic blue element that runs along the bodywork through the various functions.


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