The Loadall 542-70 (7.0m/4.2t) prototype burns hydrogen instead of diesel. JCB says it does everything its diesel powered equivalent can do, but with zero emissions and a lot less noise.

Suitable for implementing into traditional powertrains, the re-engineered 4.8-litre (94hp/75kW) four-pot block developed by engineers at the JCB engine factory in Derbyshire is said to be far less complicated than a hydrogen powered fuel cell.

The same 4.8-litre hydrogen block has been installed on a number of different JCB machines, including a backhoe loader. Hydrogen on all of them is stored in a variety of packaging arrangements – not always in the engine compartment.  In each case, there is sufficient for the machine to do a full day’s work.

JCB is investing £100m on a project to produce what is calls ‘super-efficient hydrogen engines’. A team of 100 engineers is already working on the development with the recruitment of up to 50 more under way as the company targets the end of 2022 for the first machines to be available for sale. The new block is expected to cost roughly the same as a diesel.

JCB on the road to zero emissions | profi