Kubota [6326:JP], Japan’s biggest maker of farm machinery, aims to debut the world’s first hydrogen-powered fuel cell tractor as early as 2025, as reported by Nikkei Asia on June 2. The company plans to release a prototype of the fuel cell tractor in 2023, eyeing the US and European markets where the demand for zero-emissions machinery is booming. The firm is developing medium- and large-sized fuel cell tractors with capacity ranging from 50 to 100 horsepower, which would be priced around 40% higher than diesel-powered alternatives. Moreover, the company plans to develop electric versions of mini excavators and compact tractors.
Kubota set a target to reduce carbon emissions from its farming and construction equipment by 30% between 2020 and 2030. In the long run, the company committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, in line with Japan’s national climate target. Kubota’s sold equipment, including farm and construction machinery, contributed 21.17m tons of carbon emissions in the fiscal year ended March 2020. In comparison, the firm’s carbon emissions generated from its factories during the same period were about 600,000 tons. Therefore, Kubota resolves to leverage both new power sources and fuels to help solve societal issues, citing the company’s president Yuichi Kitao. Furthermore, to promote the effective utilization of limited resources, the company will deliver equipment and plants that enable sophisticated circulation of water resources and wastes, as well as solutions to boost the management efficiency of water supply, sewerage, and other infrastructure.