JCB's £100 million project for super-efficient hydrogen engines made its Indian debut
In the presence of Shri Nitin Gadkari, JCB's £100 million project for super-efficient hydrogen engines made its Indian debut. The Minister unveiled a JCB backhoe loader powered by a purpose-engineered hydrogen combustion engine, marking its global public debut. Developed by JCB to address carbon emissions reduction targets, this breakthrough in hydrogen technology signifies a crucial step in decarbonizing India's construction sector.

Speaking at the New Delhi event, JCB India’s CEO and Managing Director, Deepak Shetty, highlighted the significance of this unveiling during COP28, emphasizing JCB's commitment to providing practical and affordable solutions for global decarbonization efforts. With India at the forefront of hydrogen adoption through the National Hydrogen Mission, JCB India takes pride in leading the introduction of this cutting-edge hydrogen combustion technology to the construction equipment sector. JCB's ongoing efforts to reduce fuel consumption, coupled with the vision of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, positions the company as a driving force in the development of hydrogen-powered machinery, with over 75 prototypes already manufactured in the UK.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said, “India has a real opportunity to put hydrogen at the very centre of its net zero future – it is a clean zero carbon fuel which can be produced from renewable energy. India is endowed with sun and water resources, the two key elements required for producing hydrogen. It is a fuel that allows for fast refuelling and is a mobile fuel solution, so fuel can be taken to the machine. Our machines work long hours, particularly in India, so minimising downtime to recharge or refuel is essential. As such, hydrogen is a perfect solution for India, particularly for the earthmoving sector.”

Lord Bamford added, “Fossil fuels are not the future. The unique combustion properties of hydrogen enable the hydrogen engine to deliver the same power, the same torque, and the same efficiency that powers JCB machines today, but in a zero-carbon way. Hydrogen combustion engines also offer other significant benefits. By leveraging diesel engine technology and components, they do not require rare earth elements and critically, combustion technology is already well proven on construction equipment. It is a technology which is cost effective, robust, reliable and well known not just in the construction sector, but across the whole world.”

Shetty concluded, “It’s only a matter of time before hydrogen becomes readily available in India for a variety of applications. The transition from diesel to hydrogen will be much faster than what we think, and JCB India will be ready. Our hydrogen combustion technology is already well-developed; many machines are currently under test, and JCB is the first construction equipment manufacturer to have unveiled working hydrogen combustion engines, and prototype machines powered by such engines. What you’re seeing here today is Asia’s first construction machine, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, and it is an honour to see it unveiled here in India by the Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport and Highways.”
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