JCB announces £100 million investment in hydrogen engines
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JCB has announced it is investing £100 million in zero-emission hydrogen engines to power machinery. The British manufacturer already has a 100-strong team working on the hydrogen project and is recruiting for up to fifty more engineers to deliver on its bid to make the first machines available to customers by the end of next year.
The company made the announcement as it unveiled a prototype hydrogen-powered backhoe loader and another machine – a telescopic handler – with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at an event in London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Great British manufacturers like JCB are developing innovative solutions to slash greenhouse emissions and advance the UK’s green industrial revolution.
“It was fantastic to see JCB’s super-efficient hydrogen engines, which could overhaul UK manufacturing, help us to rapidly reach our climate targets and ramp up the UK’s hydrogen economy – an exciting area that will be essential to tackling climate change, creating new jobs and attracting investment.”
JCB will showcase its hydrogen technology in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford said:
“Our sort of machinery will need to be powered by something other than fossil fuels. We make machines which are powered by diesel so we have to find a solution and we are doing something about it now.
“We are investing in hydrogen as we don’t see electric being the all-round solution, particularly not for our industry because it can only be used to power smaller machines. “It does mean we will carry on making engines, but they will be super-efficient, affordable, high-tech hydrogen motors with zero CO2 emissions, which can be brought to market quickly using our existing supply base.”
JCB has manufactured engines since 2004. This year the British manufacturer will celebrate a major milestone – the production of its 750,000th engine.