JCB hydrogen engine gets £100m injection

UK’s largest supplier of green, renewable hydrogen.

Commencing early in 2022, FFI’s green hydrogen production is anticipated to grow to 15 million tonnes of GH2 per year by 2030, accelerating in the 2030s to 50 million tonnes per year.

Under the partnership, FFI will lead the green hydrogen production and logistics to the UK market, and JCB and Ryze will manage green hydrogen distribution and development of customer demand in the UK.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford stated “This is an important step towards getting green hydrogen to the customer. It’s fine having an engine powered by green hydrogen, but no good if customers can’t get green hydrogen to fuel their machines. This is a major advance on the road towards making green hydrogen a viable solution.”

In July 2020, Bamford challenged the JCB engineering team to design an engine for a digger that ran entirely on hydrogen. It was part of a £100m investment to produce super-efficient hydrogen engines and to date two prototype hydrogen-powered JCB machines have been unveiled, a backhoe loader and Loadall telescopic handler.

A hydrogen engine that cleanly burns, rather than being a fuel cell and converting energy to electricity, promises considerable savings in complexity and refuelling times. The deal demonstrates that JCB are confident that, at least for heavy vehicles, hydrogen combustion is a viable solution. Toyota are also working on such an engine for road vehicles.

JCB targets the end of 2022 for the first machines to be available for sale to customers.

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