Electric Mini Image

JCB today makes company history with the unveiling of its first ever electric excavator – the quietest digger in its range and one delivering zero emissions.

The brand new JCB 19C-1 E-TECH mini excavator has been developed in top secret at JCB’s World HQ in Staffordshire where it was shown for the first time today.

With the drive towards lower emissions, the zero-emission JCB 19C-1 E-TECH will allow contractors to work inside buildings and in emissions-sensitive inner city environments. It will also allow rail contractors to operate in tunnels and underground, without having to install costly exhaust extraction equipment.

Another huge advantage of the new electric mini is that the external noise, at 7dBA lower, is a massive five times quieter than its traditional diesel powered counterpart. This means contractors can work after normal hours in urban streets without disturbing residents, as well operating in other noise sensitive environments including hospitals and schools.

On digging there is no compromise on performance with the fully charged electric machine capable of putting in a full shift in normal operation. And with no daily checks of coolant and engine oil levels required, the machine is off to work quicker than its diesel counterpart.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “JCB has been at the forefront of developing innovative, low emission construction equipment for many years. In producing an electric JCB mini excavator, we are offering our customers a practical and affordable solution for applications that demand zero emissions and quiet operation.”

JCB Chief Innovation and Growth Officer Tim Burnhope said: “By replacing the diesel engine with an efficient, 48V electrical driveline, with the latest generation automotive battery cells, JCB has once again moved the mini excavator market forwards.

“The 19C-1 E-TECH will provide contractors with a zero-emission, low-noise solution, allowing them to work independently, in late night urban conditions, within buildings and even in rail tunnels with no requirement for costly exhaust extraction equipment. The 19C-1 E-TECH points the way to a new zero-emission future for JCB mini excavators.”

Key features of the 19C-1 E-TECH include:

  • Three lithium-ion battery packs providing a 312Ah (15kWh) storage capacity
  • A standard load-sensing hydraulic system delivering powerful digging performance
  • Convenient on-board charger with 230V input for 6-hour recharging capability
  • The option for 110V charging when required
  • Sophisticated battery management system ensures full-shift availability
  • Fast charge option on launch allowing a full charge in 2.5 hours

Designed to meet a growing need for zero-emission environmentally-friendly construction equipment, JCB will launch the electric-drive 19C-1 E-TECH mini excavator later this year. Based on the premium specification 19C-1 E-TEC conventional tailswing model, that was unveiled in 2017, the electric excavator replaces the standard machine’s diesel engine with an electric motor and three, next generation 104Ah battery packs, to deliver a full energy capacity of 312Ah (15kWh). The modular batteries utilise the most advanced NMC lithium-ion cells, shared with the latest road cars, in a rugged battery pack housing that has been designed to withstand the rigours of off-highway construction use.

Using the latest 48V electrical system, the highly efficient electric motor delivers instant, greater torque than the standard machine’s diesel engine. The motor drives the 19C-1 E-TECH’s proven Bosch Rexroth load-sensing hydraulic system, delivering the same sector-leading digging performance as the standard 1.9-tonne excavator.

The high efficiency of this advanced electric-hydraulic combination means considerably lower cooling requirement - only a small hydraulic cooler with a small thermostatic electric fan and no engine radiator - contributing to longer battery life and the much lower noise level. The 19C-1 E-TECH is equipped with the same adjustable undercarriage and choice of digging equipment as the diesel model, to provide a maximum digging depth of 2,576mm with the longer 1,100mm dipper arm.

A convenient on-board charger is provided as standard, allowing the machine to be fully recharged in six hours, using a conventional 230V plug. An optional 110V charging system is available for sites without 230V electricity and JCB will offer a fast-charging option once the machine has been launched - a heavy duty off-board unit, allowing a full charge in 2 1/2 hours. The self-contained power system means that there is no requirement for an electrical power connection or cable during machine operation. The battery packs allow a full working day in a typical duty cycle or four hours of operation in an extreme duty cycle. The 1.9-tonne machine will be capable of handling a range of powered attachments, making it an ideal base carrier for demolition and refurbishment projects.

The lack of engine noise will allow contractors to work after hours in urban streets without disturbing residents, while the zero-emission capability will permit rail contractors to operate within tunnels and underground, without having to install exhaust extraction equipment. There is also a substantial reduction in vibration without the diesel engine, improving the driving environment for the operator.

Initially, the mini excavator will be available with the ROPS/TOPS and FOGS certified canopy that is offered on all next generation mini and midi machines. As the electric excavator is based on the premium specification 19C-1, the excavator comes with proportional rocker switches for auxiliary functions and boom offset swing. The premium model also has a membrane switch pad to the right of the operator for all additional controls, while the fuel gauge has been replaced by an easy to read charge level readout.

The 19C-1 E-TECH benefits from a new box section main boom and dipper arm, with all hoses routed through the boom structure for added protection. The boom pins and dozer pivot points come with graphite-impregnated bushings, allowing 500-hour greasing intervals. All grease points are located on one side of the machine to reduce downtime and there are fewer daily checks, as the 19C-1 E-TECH has no engine oil, coolant or fuel tank.