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JCB’s world first hydrogen powered backhoe makes royal debut

The world’s first hydrogen-powered digger has been unveiled by JCB, made its debut amid significant fanfare

In a case of past meeting the future, JCB’s hydrogen-powered backhoe loader made its first public appearance during a parade for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.

The loader, painted in its distinct green and white livery, was one of many machines and automotive vehicles to parade along The Mall towards Buckingham Palace as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations.

It is the first digging machine powered by a hydrogen combustion engine and was designed in secret at JCB’s Staffordshire-based manufacturing plant.

“I was immensely proud to see JCB’s first hydrogen powered product take centre stage at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s 70-year reign,” says JCB chairman Lord Anthony Bamford.

“So much has happened over the past seven decades and the jubilee has now focused minds on the need to take greater care of the environment in the future.

“I was so pleased to share at the Pageant how we are focusing on the development of JCB machines powered by hydrogen, which will help drive us towards a zero-carbon future.”

The hydrogen powered backhoe loader was thought of in 2020 by Bamford, who challenged the engineering team at JCB to design the machine to better help the United Kingdom meet its national emissions reduction targets.

In all, $176.3 million (£100 million) was invested into the project to produce the engine and required a team of 100 engineers.

JCB has also unveiled a second prototype machine powered by hydrogen; a telescopic handler.

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