JCB invests £100M on hydrogen construction machines

Hydrogen motors have the potential to help the UK reach CO2 emissions targets more quickly.

JCB announced (19th October) to invest £100 million on a project to produce super-efficient hydrogen engines.

The company plans to make the first machine ready by 2022, where a team of 100 engineers has already been working on a development project. JCB has already unveiled a prototype hydrogen-powered JCB backhoe loader. And a JCB machine – a Loadall telescopic handler – was unveiled at a central London event attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. JCB’s hydrogen technology will also be demonstrated in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow.

Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, said, “It was fantastic to see JCB’s super-efficient hydrogen engines, which could overhaul UK manufacturing, help us to rapidly reach our climate targets and ramp up the UK’s hydrogen economy – an exciting area that will be essential to tackling climate change, creating new jobs and attracting investment.”

Lord Bamford, JCB Chairman, said: “We are investing in hydrogen as we don’t see electric being the all-around solution, particularly not for our industry because it can only be used to power smaller machines.”

JCB has been producing engines since 2004 with manufacturing operations in Derbyshire, UK and in New Delhi, India.  JCB developed the construction industry’s first working prototype hydrogen-powered excavator in July 2020. The 20-tonne 220X excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell went through rigorous testing at JCB’s quarry, proving grounds for more than 12 months.

Ethan Mandel

Ethan is the special correspondent for Europe covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact me via email or follow me on social media. I am reachable on Phone: +44 (0) 208 123 7812
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