Although details are thin on the ground, H2 View understands the internal combustion engine (ICE) has already powered JCB a prototype backhoe loader and loadall telescopic handler.

Set to be unveiled at the Conexpo in Las Vega, US, the hydrogen-fuelled ICE is intended to be used as a ‘zero-emissions solution’ for construction and agricultural equipment.

“The JCB engineering team has made enormous strides in a short space of time to develop a hydrogen internal combustion engine and it already powers a JCB prototype backhoe loader and loadall telescopic handler,” said Lord Bamford, Chairman of JCB.

Lord Bamford continued, “As the first construction equipment company to develop a fully working combustion engine fuelled by hydrogen, I’m delighted we are now able to present this technology on the international stage.”

It comes after JCB revealed in 2021 it intended to invest £100m ($123m) in a project that would see the development of new, innovative hydrogen engines. The company also unveiled the ‘world’s first’ hydrogen-powered digger during the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Read more: JCB investing £100m in developing super-efficient hydrogen engines

Read more: ‘World’s first’ hydrogen digger receives royal unveiling

Despite much of the industry turning to hydrogen fuel cells to power mobility applications, hydrogen ICEs have been touted as an exciting technology that could provide an edge to heavy-duty applications.

H2 View in 2021 was told by Dr. Motohiko Nishimura, Executive Officer of Kawasaki Heavy Industries that hydrogen-fuelled combustion engines could be superior to fuel cells.

Read more: Hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engines could be superior to fuel cells, says Kawasaki Heavy Industries

“In terms of durability and reliability, it [hydrogen ICE] is superior to fuel cells, making it suitable for heavy-duty use on ships, heavy machinery and long-distance buses and trucks. Naturally, they are the most cost-competitive power source,” Nishimura told H2 View.

Speaking at H2 View’s Mobility Snap Summit in 2022, David Yorke, Development Manager at Ballard told views that the “stars are aligned” for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Read more: ‘The stars are aligned’ for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, H2 View’s Mobility Snap Summit hears

Yorke said, “We can say the stars are aligned. Everything is coming together for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen is the most competitive in the heavy-duty sector.”

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