Major equipment supplier releases hydrogen fuelled excavator

A construction equipment supplier in Australia has released a hydrogen powered excavator to provide, as it takes its first steps into low carbon technologies.

JCB has engineered the 20-tonne 220X excavator which is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The machine has been undergoing extensive testing at JBC’s quarry for the past 12 months.

Lord Bamford, JCB Chairman, 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,” Mr. Bamford said.

Mr. Bamford’s son, Jo Bamford, spent 14 years at JCB before moving into the hydrogen sector. He first set up Ryse Hydrogen and then bought Northern Ireland bus giant Wrightbus. He has won contracts to supply the world’s first hydrogen double-decker to cities such as London and Aberdeen.

Power for JCB’s prototype excavator is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy needed to run electric motors. The only emission from the exhaust is water.

This development follows JCB’s production of an electric mini excavator the 19C-1E. The company has also extended electric technology to its innovative Teletruk telescopic forklift range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.

JCB have also been working on clean diesel technology to meet Stage V EU emissions regulations and has almost eradicated the most harmful emissions from its latest range of diesel engines. Nitrous Oxide (NOx) is down 97 per cent, soot particulates down by 98 per cent and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions down by almost half.

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