What fuel will power agricultural equipment in the future? There are a number of alternatives to the tried and true fossil fuels that we're currently favoring, and many of them use crops that can be gathered right on site by the vehicles that are eventually going to use them. Ethanol (or other alcohol based fuels) and biodiesel stand out as the most commonly cited options, but some still have hydrogen on the brain. Farms may be an ideal source for the electricity needed to extract hydrogen from water since there is often an abundance of wind, sun or both. Still, the question remains: Why not just store that electricity and use it in something electric?
The New Holland NH2 is billed as the world's first hydrogen-powered tractor, and it's just debuted in conceptual form in Italy. The zero-emissions tractor gets its power from a fuel cell that sends electrons to a 106-horsepower electric motor powering all four wheels. Problems include a major lack of range and an awfully high price, so New Holland isn't expecting to put the model into production until 2013.