At Conexpo, one of the world’s largest construction equipment shows, in Las Vegas, JCB unveiled its hydrogen-powered combustion engine.
This is a project in which JCB has invested £100 million (around US$ 122 million). A team of 150 engineers is working on developing a hydrogen combustion engines in the UK. More than 50 prototypes have already been built. They are already being used in backhoe loaders and telescopic handlers. JCB has also made a major breakthrough in proving the value of hydrogen combustion technology by installing an H2 engine in a 7.5 tonne Mercedes truck (a retrofit that was completed in just a few days).
In Las Vegas, JCB’s brand new hydrogen combustion engine was unveiled at Conexpo, as part of the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE). At the same show, the company also unveiled its own mobile refuelling station, designed and built to deliver fuel to machines. This refuelling unit contains enough hydrogen to fill 16 hydrogen backhoe loaders. It can be transported either on the back of a modified JCB tractor or on a trailer.
The group, led by Lord Bamford, has also been investigating fuel cells and in July 2020 it unveiled the first-ever hydrogen tracked excavator for the construction industry (a 20-tonne 220X). At present, JCB considers fuel cells to be too expensive, too complicated and not robust enough for its machines. That’s why the JCB hydrogen engine was born.
If you want to know more about hydrogen engines, you can read our last two articles on the subject here and here.