Our Road to Zero
Building a greener future
It was always our intention to build our own diesel engines and that dream became a reality in 2004. From then on, it was all about continuous improvement and making our engines as fuel-efficient as possible, while reducing harmful emissions.
But we are always looking for better ways and we led the way with the world’s first fully-electric mini excavator with zero emissions. We soon became leaders in electric innovation and developed a complete range of 100% electric machines across smaller products.
It didn’t stop there. While battery-electric power works for compact machines, it is not practical for bigger models. That’s why we turned to hydrogen as an alternative, clean, zero carbon fuel and developed the industry’s first hydrogen engine. And now, our backhoe loader, fitted with the award-winning hydrogen engine, can do everything its diesel-powered equivalent can do, but without the carbon.
Our road to zero beginsThe JCB ECOMAX engine was launched and fitted into our backhoe loaders, delivering significant fuel savings. It was the beginning of our Road to Zero.
Diesel engine of the yearThe JCB ECOMAX engine used innovative clean-burn technology that did not produce high levels of emissions. This means it didn't require a diesel particulate filter or extensive after-treatment systems to clean up exhaust gases, saving customers money.
Tier 4 EngineLaunch of a new and improved Tier 4 engine to meet next generation engine legislation whilst reducing emissions.
Two Queen's AwardsThe efficient JCB ECOMAX engine keeps winning. This time it's two Queen's Awards, for Innovation and International Trade.
The 430 DIESELMAX ENGINEA brand new 3 litre DIESELMAX engine was launched in this year. It used up to 8% less fuel than the 4.4 litre JCB engine, which was already very efficient.
Reaching new heightsThe next step on our Road to Zero saw the launch of our first electric products - a range of 8 electric scissor lifts.
Another industry firstJCB developed and launched the industry's first ever electric mini digger in response to customer demands for a zero emissions machine that could work indoors and in noise sensitive, urban areas.
"There is a new emerging zero emissions sector and it's emerging very quickly.It's the reason we put ourselves at the forefront of alternative power technologies and developed the first ever electric JCB digger." - JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford
First ever hydrogen excavatorProject teams were created and engineers brought together to start focusing on developing the first hydrogen fuel cell excavator.
"Our sort of machinery will need to be powered by something other than fossil fuels.We make machines that are powered by diesel, so we have to find a solution and we are doing something about it now." - JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford.
Stage V diesel engineWe led the way on clean diesel technology, almost eradicating the most harmful emissions from our latest range of engines. NOx has been reduced by 97%, soot particulates by 98% and through our extensive efficiency drive, CO2 emissions have been cut by nearly half.
ELECTRIC HONOURSAfter just one year since launching, our electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E was honoured with an award recognised as one of the most prestigious in British engineering; The Dewar Trophy for 'Outstanding Technical Achievement in the British Automotive Industry' from the Royal Automobile Club.
Electric innovation awardOur electric mini excavator won a second award for engineering innovation - The 2020 MacRobert Award for innovation from the Royal Academy of Engineering. This prestigious award has been presented since 1969 to honour a wide variety of engineering feats, including the CT scanner and Rolls-Royce's Pegasus engine used in the Harrier Jump Jet. To date, hundreds of machines have been sold, saving the equivalent of 15 tonnes of in CO₂ emissions.
With fuel cells, bigger is betterLearning from our first prototype hydrogen fuel cell excavator, we developed Prototype 2 - with a bigger fuel cell and better batteries designed for managing the high transient loads of a 20-tonne excavator.
"The development of the first hydrogen fuelled excavator is very exciting as we strive towards a zero carbon world."- JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford.
Chairman's ChallengeHaving developed two prototype hydrogen fuel cell excavators, the team realised that the technology was too complicated and too expensive for construction and agricultural equipment markets. JCB Chairman Lord Bamford challenged the engineering team to think differently and develop a combustion engine for a digger that runs entirely on hydrogen.
The Electric DumpsterThe next electric innovation was an electric version of our popular HTD-5 Diesel Dumpster. The addition of an electric drive makes it suitable for urban and indoor applications.
Expanding ETECH rangeOur electric E-TECH range of zero emission machines continued to grow with the launch of our first ever electric Loadall.
Electric Site DumperOur first ever electric site dumper is launched. A one tonne, high-tip model powered by lithium-ion battery technology. Productivity and performance are identical to the conventional diesel model.
Charging aheadOur electric range continues to expand and increase customer versatility, with the addition of a rapid universal charger and battery power packs.
Testing of the hydrogen engine beginsOn a cold December morning, JCB's first ever hydrogen combustion engine ran for the first time. The high-performance, purpose-engineered zero-CO₂ hydrogen engine then started its testing regime in our engine test cells.
First hydrogen machine debutOur hydrogen engine made its debut in one of our world-famous backhoe loaders, sporting a new green and white livery. The event was attended by the press and some celebrities, including Jeremy Clarkson.
Reaching for more awardsOur innovative electric products just kept on winning accolades. This time it was for the JCB Teletruk. The 30-19E machine won The Environment Award from the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA), Europe's leading trade body for the materials handling industry.
HYDROGEN LOADALL DEBUTA hydrogen-powered telescopic handler was shown for the first time ever at a central London event in October 2021.
INVESTING IN THE FUTUREJCB showcased their hydrogen-powered machines for the first time at the heart of government in Westminster.
Engine of the yearAt the Diesel Progress Summit, our 430 DIESELMAX engine won the Engine of the Year Award, for engines up to 175hp.
JCB AT COP 26The world's first hydrogen-powered backhoe loader and telescopic handler were displayed in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow.
JCB at COP 26The world's first hydrogen-powered backhoe loader and telescopic handler were displayed in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow.
Hydrogen is a winnerJCB won one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in British automotive engineering, as Lord Bamford is presented with the Royal Automotive Club's Dewar Trophy for the development of our hydrogen fuel engine.
Apprentice powerA team of 36 apprentices combined their engineering skills to build a unique 525-60E electric telehandler. The specially wrapped JCB Loadall was auctioned off in aid of the company's Platinum Jubilee NSPCC appeal.
Hydrogen goes platinumThe world's first hydrogen-powered Backhoe Loader joined JCB machines of the past and present to take centre stage at Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London.
Delivering the futureJCB announced another industry first - a mobile hydrogen refueller, providing a quick and easy way to refuel machines on site.
1,000th electric mini excavatorOur double-award winning electric mini excavator marked another significant milestone in its short history with the production of the 1,000th machine. The world's first volume-produced all-electric mini excavator only went into full production in 2019.
Fuelling the future through innovationThe 50th JCB hydrogen combustion engine came off the production line as part of the development process.
Hydrogen powered backhoe hits the roadThe UK government has given JCB special dispensation, which allows us to test and use our world-first hydrogen-powered backhoe loader on UK roads. The world's first digger, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, will soon be on UK roads and building sites, helping to decarbonise the UK's construction industry and create hundreds of jobs.
Hydrogen technology now in trucksWe have made a major breakthrough in proving wider appeal of hydrogen combustion technology by installing one of our hydrogen engines into a 7.5 tonne Mercedes truck. The installation only took days with one of the first test drivers being JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford.
Hydrogen world first makes International debutOur £100 million project to produce super-efficient hydrogen engines has been given its international debut with its unveiling at one of the world's biggest construction equipment exhibitions - Conexpo 2023 in Las Vegas. "I'm delighted we are now able to present this technology on the international stage" said JCB Chairman, Lord Bamford.
New three-phase powerpacksOur electric Powerpack range has increased to five with the addition of three larger models, delivering a 400V, three-phase output. JCB battery powerpacks allow customers to reduce their dependence on diesel-powered generators when electrical demand is low, reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, for a cleaner, lower carbon worksite.
Electric and hybrid drive articulated boomsWe are introducing two articulated boom aerial work platforms to our range, with a choice of full battery electric and diesel/electric hybrid drivelines. The A45E is fully electric, offering zero emissions with zero compromise on performance. The A45EH is a diesel/electric hybrid version, ideal for working in more remote locations where an external power supply is not readily available.
First electric loader launchedWe are expanding our full electric equipment line-up with the launch of the compact 403E. Our first full electric wheel loader delivers best-in-class performance and full working day use. The machine boasts the largest standard battery pack in its class, with productivity matching our popular 403 diesel model.
Innovation. That's what JCB has been delivering for over 75 years. Now we're working on hydrogen combustion engines, so that our agricultural and construction machinery can be net zero on carbon emissions.
JCB’s pioneering range of machines are 100% electric with zero emissions, zero compromise on performance and a lot less noise.
There are various questions surrounding HVO that need clarification. Is it safe? Can I use it in my equipment? What are the benefits? Find all the answers you need to make an informed decision.