JCB’s newly-developed hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine is a zero-emission alternative to electric cars and fuel cells. As a manufacturer of heavy-duty machinery, JCB is well aware of the issues with electrifying an excavator or a backhoe loader. Mind you, the company has multiple working electric and fuel-cell machines in their lineup. So it’s not like they haven’t tried them.
The British heavy equipment manufacturer reckons hydrogen engines can bridge the gap between utilizing existing combustion technology while keeping things simple, inexpensive, and emissions-free.
It’s a new hydrogen-diesel hybrid engine affectionately known as “baby number two” that could help to decarbonise some of Australia’s heaviest industries. We have so many established diesel-powered generators, mega-trucks and underground machines. How do we decarbonise all those existing diesel engines? One way is to shut down everything and get new technology in, which will take decades.