JCB unleashes the ‘first’ hydrogen excavator

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

JCB has unveiled what they're calling the the ‘first-ever’ hydrogen excavator

JCB's hydrogen-powered excavator
JCB has unveiled its hydrogen-powered digger to the world

JCB has taken another big leap into the zero- and low-carbon machinery world by announcing the ‘first-ever’ hydrogen excavator.

Unveiled by JCB’s chairman Lord Bamford and son Jo, the 20-tonne 220X hydrogen-powered prototype excavator has spent last 12 months being tested in JCB’s quarry proving grounds.

Lord Bamford says JCB is excited about this new technology and will continue to refine the prototype as it eyes off a zero-carbon future.

"The development of the first hydrogen-fuelled excavator is very exciting as we strive towards a zero-carbon world," he says.

"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." 

The 220X hydrogen-powered prototype excavator is powered by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell, this creates the energy that runs electric motors. The only emission from the exhaust is water.

Jo Bamford was also excited about the possibilities hydrogen could have on the industry.

"I truly believe hydrogen is the UK’s best opportunity to build a world-leading industry, which creates UK jobs, cuts emissions and is the envy of the globe," he says.

The move into the hydrogen world wasn’t unexpected, as Jo leads the hydrogen-based company Ryse Hydrogen. He also bought Northern Ireland bus company Wrightbus, which currently has contracts to supply London and Aberdeen with the world’s first hydrogen double-decker buses.

The move into the hydrogen sector comes after the company also leapt into the electric world. Last year, JCB introduced the 19C-1E, one of the industry’s first fully-electric mini excavators. JCB then extended that technology to its Teletruk telescopic forklift range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.

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