The Auga Group has presented the first batch of three M1 hybrid tractors. Developed and assembled in Lithuania, they are about to start on-farm tests. Large-scale production of the 400hp tractor is expected to start later this year.
Previewed as a prototype in September 2021, the most noticeable visible change with the production version is the new look exterior. Also, the lime green paintwork has been swapped for anthracite brown.
“In creating the prototype, we focused on developing the technology without paying much attention to the design,” comments Auga group CEO Kęstutis Juščius, who adds that all production versions will be finished with the new styling and colour.
Claas still supplies the cab and there is no change to the technology below the hood where a methane-fuelled Ford block generates electricity for the wheel motors. When the full power is not needed, excess power is stored in batteries.
Claimed to be able to operate continuously for up to 12 hours, operating costs of the M1 are said to be the same as those of a diesel-powered tractor.
Auga is keen to sell the tractor worldwide, and while there was plenty of foreign manufacturer interest to make it, Lithuanian farm machinery manufacturer Rokiškis was charged with making the first units. The price of the M1 will be released during the second half of this year.
So far, the Auga Group has invested in excess of €3 million in the hybrid tractor project. The engineering team has doubled and there are plans to hire more engineers.