01 June 2020
JCB has developed the construction industry’s first hydrogen excavator and continues to lead the sector’s development of zero- and low-carbon technologies, the company announced today.
The 20-ton 220X excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell has been undergoing rigorous testing in JCB’s quarry field for more than 12 months. This exciting development makes the brand the first construction equipment company in the world to present a working prototype of an excavator powered by this method.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford said, “The development of the first hydrogen excavator is very exciting in this process of building a zero-carbon future. In the coming months, JCB will continue to develop and refine this technology with advanced testing of our prototype machine and we will continue to be at the forefront of technologies designed to build a zero-carbon future.”
Lord Bamford’s son, Jo Bamford, spent 14 years at JCB before moving into the hydrogen sector, founding Ryse Hydroge. Jo added: “I truly believe hydrogen is the best opportunity to build a world-leading industry that creates jobs, reduces emissions and is the envy of the world.”
Power for the prototype excavator is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy needed to run the electric motors. The only exhaust emission is water.
The development comes after JCB made history last year by launching the construction industry’s first all-electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E.
In addition, it has also extended electric technology to its innovative Teletruk telehandler range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.
Through constant innovation and design improvements, it has led the way in clean diesel technology to meet EU Stage V emissions regulations and has all but eradicated the most harmful emissions from its latest range of diesel engines.
Nitrous oxide (NOx) decreased by 97% soot particles decreased by 98% and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions decreased by almost half.