JCB unveils mobile hydrogen refueller

JCB has unveiled a mobile hydrogen refueller which it says will allow on site refuelling of hydrogen powered machines in the same way that fuel bowsers are used for diesel powered equipment.

The UK manufacturer said the refueller was part of its £100 million investment in hydrogen engines, which has so far created working prototypes of a backhoe loader and Loadall telescopic handler.

The new hydrogen refueller between JCB’s hydrogen powered telehandler and backhoe loader. (Photo: JCB)

The mobile hydrogen refueller aims to provide an easy way for customers to refuel machines, the vast majority of which have fuel delivered to them while working on site, said the company. JCB said customers are already used to a transportable fuel.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who is leading the company’s hydrogen project, said many have asked how hydrogen powered machines will be refuelled; “Well today we have an answer with our new mobile hydrogen refuelling system, which allows hydrogen to be taken from on-site tube trailers and distributed to machines by our refueller as they work on the job site. This is no different to today when diesel is taken in bowsers to refuel machines.

“Fossil fuels are not the future and hydrogen is the practical solution to powering our machines in the decades to come. Our British engineers are doing a fantastic job in developing this technology and there are many more exciting developments to come.”

JCB’s new mobile hydrogen refueller. (Photo: JCB)

JCB has not yet provided any technical details on the refueller or said when it could be commercially available.

The OEM has 100 engineers working on the hydrogen project. Its first hydrogen powered machine was a backhoe loader followed a year ago by a telescopic handler.

The technology was shown in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow last year.

JCB has manufactured engines since 2004, producing them at plants in Derbyshire, UK, and in Delhi, India. Last year it made its 750,000th engine.

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