Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, is being touted by some as the solution to our oil problem. And it is true that new technology and discoveries suggest that America is sitting on huge, untapped reserves of shale gas, and the CNG industry is expected to explode in the next decade. With that in mind, Stery has built the first production natural gas-powered farm tractor, and its engine comes from an unlikely place; Fiat.From Italy, With Love

The CNG engine is made by Fiat Powertrain Technologies, which as you might imagine is an offshoot of the Fiat autogroup. Fiatis trying to make a comeback in America, though they are off to a slow start. The Italian automaker, which owns 30% of Chrysler, is Europe’s biggest seller of CNG engine technology. And with CNG poised to gain ground in America, Fiat seems to be getting a head start.

As far as power goes, the 3.0 liter, four-cylinder unit produces up to 143 horsepower and 400 ft-lbs of torque. Fuel capacity is 300 liters stored in 9 tanks, and the tractor can also run on refined biogas (i.e. cow poop fumes.) For those who have taken issue with putting food in their fuel tanks, this new tractor offers an alternative to ethanol or biodiesel.

Steyr also introduced a line of tractors with a suite of fuel-saving technology. The five Steyr Profi models include turbodiesel engines, Nox-reduction technology, Idle Speed Management, and other advancements that boosts horsepower while cutting emissions and fuel consumption. While there has been progress on hybrid tractor technology, to some the word “hybrid” is dirty. But natural gas?

That’s just patriotic.

Source: Green Car Congress