JCB Unveils Industry-First Mobile Hydrogen Refueler

Jordanne Waldschmidt Headshot
Updated Oct 28, 2022
JCB Hydrogen Refueler and Hydrogen-Powered Backhoe

JCB developed the industry’s first construction machine prototypes powered by hydrogen, and now, it has a solution to refuel them.

The company unveiled a mobile hydrogen refueler that provides a quick and easy way for customers to refuel their hydrogen-powered machines on site.

“Since we became the first construction equipment company to unveil machines powered by hydrogen, many have asked how they can be refueled," said JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who is leading JCB’s hydrogen project.

“Well today, we have an answer with our new mobile hydrogen refueling system, which allows hydrogen to be taken from onsite tube trailers and distributed to machines by our refueler as they work on the job site. This is no different to today when diesel is taken in bowsers to refuel machines."

JCB noted that around 97% of construction machines have fuel delivered to them while working on site, meaning customers are already used to transportable fuel versus electric-powered equipment. In a previous statement, Bamford said the company is investing in hydrogen because electric power has limits and is not an all-around solution, especially when it comes to larger machines.

“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,” said Bamford.

JCB has invested $98 million in the project to produce carbon-free hydrogen engines. In 2015, JCB bought a controlling stake in ITM Power, a manufacturer of hydrogen energy systems and hydrogen fuel cells. Over the past two years, JCB has debuted a hydrogen-powered backhoe loader prototype, a hydrogen-powered Loadall telescopic handler prototype and a hydrogen-powered 220X excavator prototype. A team of 100 engineers is working on the project.