The JCB Group is one of the most prominent manufacturers of earthmoving and construction equipment in India. Since 1979, JCB India Limited (JCL) has operated as a Joint Undertaking under the corporate umbrella of JCB, the UK’s JCB Excavators. It operates five world-class factories in India. In India, JCB manufactures a wide range of high-quality equipment for both the domestic market and export to over 125 countries.
Mr. Gadkari introduced JCB’s first purpose-engineered, hydrogen combustion engine powered backhoe loader in its first public demonstration anywhere in the world. Developed in response to the immediate need to meet carbon emission reduction objectives, this industry-first innovation marks a milestone on the journey to decarbonize the construction industry in India.
Deepak Shetty, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) of JCB India, said, “It is indeed apt that the launch of JCB’s 3DX hydrogen combustion engine-powered backhoe loader in India coincides with the commencement of the COP28 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as the world evaluates its progress towards meeting its climate objectives. JCB aspires to demonstrate to the world that this practical and cost-effective technology can decarbonize the construction industry, both in India and globally. We are delighted to showcase this prototype in India as the first country to do so.”
Mr. Shetty said, “We in India are collaborating to make hydrogen our zero-carbon fuel of tomorrow; the NHM (National Hydrogen Mission) is creating a hydrogen ecosystem which is crucial for the success of this innovative hydrogen combustion technology, JCB India takes pride in being the first to bring this technology to the construction equipment market in India. It is thanks to Lord Bam ford’s vision, JCB Chairman, that we are able to develop machines powered by hydrogen.”
Over 150 JCB engineers are participating in the world’s first hydrogen combustion engine project, having already constructed over 75 prototype engines at JCB UK’s engine plant.
JCB’s prototype hydrogen engines are already being used on backhoe loaders and on Load all telescopic handlers.
JCB UK has also launched its own designed and constructed mobile refueling bowler to transport fuel to the machines.
According to JCB, the company’s current initiative to lower fuel consumption means that its diesel powered machines consume on average 50 per cent less fuel today than they did more than 10 years ago – saving 16 billion liter’s (53 million tonnes) of fuel.
Chairman of JCB, Lord Bam ford said, “India has the potential to place hydrogen at the heart of its zero-carbon future – a clean zero-carbon fuel that can be generated from renewable energy sources. India has abundant sun and water, both of which are essential for the generation of hydrogen. Hydrogen is a fuel that can be refueled quickly, and it’s a mobile fuel solution – meaning fuel can be transported to the machine. We work long hours, especially in India, so it’s important to minimize downtime when it comes to recharging or refueling. Hydrogen is an ideal solution for India, especially for the earthmoving industry.”
Fossil fuels aren’t the future,” said Lord Bam ford. “The unique combustion characteristics of hydrogen allow the hydrogen engine to provide the same power, torque and efficiency as JCB machines today – but in a zero carbon way.”
Hydrogen combustion engines also have other important advantages. By using diesel engine technology and parts, they don’t need rare earth elements, and, crucially, combustion technology has already been proven to work on construction equipment. This is a technology that’s cost-effective, robust, dependable and well-known not only in the construction industry but globally.”
In conclusion, Mr. Shetty said, “Hydrogen will soon be available easily in India for a wide range of applications. The switchover from diesel to hydrogen is much quicker than we thought, and JCB will be well prepared. We have developed our hydrogen combustion technology; many machines are under test and JCB is proud to be the first construction equipment maker to have launched functional hydrogen combustion engines, as well as prototype machines powered by them.” Please stay tune for more information.