JCB unveils hydrogen refueller

Hydrogen refueller allows on-site machines to be refuelled up to 16 times before needing to be recharged, the company says

British manufacturer JCB has unveiled its new mobile hydrogen refueller, which it says is a world first for the construction industry.

The mobile hydrogen refueller provides a quick and easy way for operators to refuel their machines on-site by delivering hydrogen via a nozzle into their machine when needed.

According to the manufacturer, transportable fuel is already a widely used concept with around 97% of construction machines having fuel delivered to them while working on site.

In February 2021, JCB said it was hiring 400 new staff at its UK production facility as part of its post-COVID recovery plan and, in September 2021, the company said it had weathered the COVID-19 impact and stayed profitable in 2020.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who is leading JCB’s hydrogen project, said, “Since we became the first construction equipment company to unveil machines powered by hydrogen, many have asked how they can be refuelled. Well today we have an answer with our new mobile hydrogen refuelling system, which allows hydrogen to be taken from on-site tube trailers and distributed to machines by our refueller as they work on the job site. This is no different to today when diesel is taken in bowsers to refuel machines.”

He added, “Fossil fuels are not the future and hydrogen is the practical solution to powering our machines in the decades to come. Our British engineers are doing a fantastic job in developing this technology and there are many more exciting developments to come.”

With the refueller, the company says that the machine can be refuelled up to 16 times before needing to be recharged. JCB is currently investing US $120mn in a project to produce super-efficient hydrogen engines, while it has already showcased working prototypes of a backhoe loader and Loadall telescopic handler powered by hydrogen.

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