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AUGA Group launches world's first biomethane-electric hybrid tractor

Lithuania's AUGA Group, one of Europe’s largest vertically integrated organic food producers, has developed and presented the world’s first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor for professional farm use – AUGA M1. This is the company’s first step in offering technological solutions that aim to eliminate climate pollution throughout the food supply chain, from field to table, and allow food to be produced at "no cost to nature."

Lithuania’s AUGA Group, one of Europe’s largest vertically integrated organic food producers, has developed and presented the world’s first hybrid biomethane and electric tractor for professional farm use – AUGA M1 (photo courtesy Vytautė Stankevičienė).

The AUGA Group of companies manages approximately 39 000 ha of organically certified arable land and employs over 1 200 people. Using proprietary and contracted manufacturing, the company produces a wide range of organic food products for the end consumer as well as organic commodities.

AUGA develops a sustainable farming model, based on the development and application of new agricultural technologies (AgTech), specializing in crops, dairy cows, chicken, and mushroom growing. The AUGA M1 biomethane-electric hybrid tractor is the company’s first own-developed AgTech offering.

We are ready to provide consumers around the world with food at no cost to nature. By eating such food, people themselves will make a positive impact on climate change daily. And we are sure that more and more people want to live like this, said Kęstutis Juščius, CEO of AUGA Group.

Circular farm bioeconomy

Agricultural activity is widely seen as accounting for almost a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A large part of the emissions is due to the use of fossil fuels in agricultural machinery.

According to him, the technology developed in Lithuania will help to create a food production model around the world that will reduce damage caused to nature.

Three years ago, when we first calculated our emissions, we saw that as much as 30 percent of them come from the use of fossil fuels on farms. There were simply no solutions to change it. 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, said Kęstutis Juščius.

According to Juščius, the choice of biomethane as an alternative fuel was not accidental – it is one of the greenest types of biofuel. Biogas derived by anaerobic digestion (AD) of livestock waste and upgraded to biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG), offsets more emissions per unit of energy in its production and use cycle than it emits.

Our invention makes it possible to create a wide range of tractor applications and make it accessible to all farmers who want to work sustainably. We are not developing technology just to solve our own emissions and deliver on the promise of becoming a CO2-neutral company by 2030. Our goal is bigger – we will strive to make this tractor and other technologies that are still being developed available to farmers all over the world and help solve the global problem of pollution in the agricultural sector, said Kęstutis Juščius.

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