JCB has unveiled its innovative fuel cell powered excavator, the world’s first. The machine features a fuel cell stack and is fuelled by hydrogen, ensuring it has low tailpipe emissions. Fuel cells only emit water vapour, with none of the NOx or particulates generated by internal combustion engines.
The machine utilises technology from Ryse Hydrogen, which is also part of the JCB Group. The fuel cell stack generates electric power, with the machine featuring electric motors to drive its hydraulics.
The excavator has been developed over two years and has undergone 12 months of working trials at JCB’s quarry proving grounds to ensure its performance delivers as expected.
The 20tonne 220X machine set a benchmark for the construction industry as this is the first working prototype of an excavator powered by hydrogen. Other firms have also made other types of construction machines featuring fuel cells however, such as the rigid dump truck developed by Chinese firms Weichai and CRRC.
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.”
Jo Bamford said it was a game-changing addition to JCB’s fleet and a strong message for Britain’s green economy. “I grew up on the shop floor at JCB and have spent many years working on a prototype to help take our companies into the future,” he explained.
The development comes after JCB made manufacturing history last year by going into full production with a fully electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E. JCB has also extended electric technology to its innovative Teletruk telescopic forklift range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.