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 BEGINS
The 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 YEAR
The 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 ENGINE
Launch of a new and improved Tier 4 engine to meet next generation engine legislation whilst reducing emissions.
TWO QUEEN'S AWARDS
The efficient JCB ECOMAX engine keeps winning. This time it's two Queen's Awards, for Innovation and International Trade.
THE 430 DIESELMAX ENGINE
A 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 HEIGHTS
The next step on our Road to Zero saw the launch of our first electric products - a range of 8 electric scissor lifts.
ANOTHER INDUSTRY FIRST
JCB 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 EXCAVATOR
Project 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 ENGINE
We 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.
After 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 AWARD
Our 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 CO2 emissions.
WITH FUEL CELLS, BIGGER IS BETTER
Learning 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.
Having 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 DUMPSTER
The 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 RANGE
Our electric E-TECH range of zero emission machines continued to grow with the launch of our first ever electric Loadall and one tonne site dumper.
Our 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 BEGINS
On 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 DEBUT
Our 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 AWARDS
Our 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 DEBUT
A hydrogen-powered telescopic handler was shown for the first time ever at a central London event in October 2021.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
JCB showcased their hydrogen-powered machines for the first time at the heart of government in Westminster.
ENGINE OF THE YEAR
At the Diesel Progress Summit, our 430 DIESELMAX engine won the Engine of the Year Award, for engines up to 175hp.
JCB AT COP 26
The world's first hydrogen-powered backhoe loader and telescopic handler were displayed in the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow.
HYDROGEN IS A WINNER
JCB won one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in British automotive engineering, as Lord Bamford is presented with the Royal Automobile Club's Dewar Trophy for the development of our hydrogen fuel engine.
A 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 PLATINUM
The 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 FUTURE
JCB announced another industry first - a mobile hydrogen refueller, providing a quick and easy way to refuel machines on site.
FUELLING THE FUTURE THROUGH INNOVATION
The 50th JCB hydrogen combustion engine came off the production line as part of the development process.
Building a greener future: Hydrogen
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 Electric Range
JCB’s pioneering range of machines are 100% electric with zero emissions, zero compromise on performance and a lot less noise.
HVO. Everything you need to know.
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.
Out strategy to drive our products to net zero includes multiple approaches. Find out more about our core innovations.
How does refuelling work?
To support hydrogen equipment, JCB has developed a hydrogen refuelling unit which stores hydrogen in cylinders.