JCB announces hydrogen powered excavator

By Andy Brown01 July 2020

JT20-157

JCB’s 20 tonne hydrogen powered excavator

JCB has developed what it claims is the construction industry’s first ever hydrogen powered excavator.

The 20 tonne 220X excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell has been undergoing rigorous testing at JCB’s quarry proving grounds for more than 12 months. JCB is the first construction equipment company to unveil a working prototype of an excavator powered by hydrogen.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said, “The development of the first hydrogen fuelled excavator is very exciting as we strive towards a zero carbon world.

“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.”

Power for JCB’s prototype excavator is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy needed to run electric motors. The only emission from the exhaust is water.

The UK-based OEM announced last year that is had gone into full production with the fully electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E. JCB has also extended electric technology to its Teletruk telescopic forklift range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.

As well as working on hydrogen and electric powered equipment JCB says that it has almost eradicated the most harmful emissions from its latest range of diesel engines. According to the company, Nitrous Oxide is down 97%, soot particulates down by 98% and Carbon Dioxide emissions have been reduced by almost half.

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