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Spotlight – JCB India January 2024

JCB’s hydrogen-powered machine makes debut at the Excon 2023, Bengaluru

JCB unveiled its pioneering hydrogen combustion technology at Excon in Bengaluru. In its first-ever trade show appearance anywhere in the world, the JCB hydrogen-powered backhoe loader prototype, part of a £100 million investment, was unveiled alongside JCB’s unique hydrogen combustion engine.

A team of 150 JCB engineers are working on the initiative to develop hydrogen combustion engines – and more than 75 prototypes have already been manufactured at JCB’s UK engine plant. The prototype JCB hydrogen engines are already powering backhoe loader and Loadall telescopic handler machines. Separately, JCB UK has also unveiled its very own designed and built mobile refuelling bowser to take the fuel to the machines.
The company states its existing drive to reduce fuel consumption means its diesel-powered machines use 50 percent less fuel today on average than those manufactured more than a decade ago. This has saved 16 billion litres of fuel already, which is equivalent to 53 million tonnes of CO2.

Speaking at Excon, Deepak Shetty, CEO and MD, JCB India said, “It is fitting that this 3DX backhoe loader, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, is being unveiled in India just as COP28 draws to a close in Dubai. As the world has been assessing its collective progress towards achieving its climate goals, JCB is showing it has a practical and affordable technology in place to decarbonise construction, both in India and across the world.”
Shetty added: “India’s concerted efforts towards making hydrogen a zero-carbon fuel of the future is creating the conditions for a hydrogen ecosystem through the National Hydrogen Mission. JCB India is proud to be taking the lead in introducing this hydrogen combustion technology to India, made possible because of the vision of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who has been the driving force behind the development of the technology.”

In advance of the exhibition, Lord Bamford, Chairman, JCB, said: “India has a real opportunity to put hydrogen at the very centre of its net zero future – it is a clean zero carbon fuel which can be produced from renewable energy. India is endowed with sun and water resources, the two key elements required for producing hydrogen. It is a fuel that allows for fast refuelling and is a mobile fuel solution, in that fuel can be taken to the machine. Our machines work long hours, particularly in India, so minimising downtime to recharge or refuel is essential. Hydrogen is a perfect solution for India, particularly for the earthmoving sector.”
Lord Bamford also added: “Fossil fuels are not the future. Developed from first principles, the JCB hydrogen engine has been designed to optimise hydrogen combustion so that it can deliver the same power, torque, and efficiency that powers JCB machines today, but in a zero-carbon way.”
Shetty concluded: “Visitors to the exhibition saw Asia’s first construction machine, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine. We are witnessing the beginning of an exciting zero-carbon future in India’s earthmoving sector, and hydrogen combustion will be at the heart of that future.”
JCB India has the largest range of backhoe loaders in the industry. The new 3DX Xtra machine offers excellent ease of use for operators to work continuously for longer durations without fatigue. The machine has effortless gear shifting with an easy shift feature.
The 3DX Plus 4WD with a high dump bucket and extending dipper and the 3DX Super were also showcased at the traded show. The 3DX Plus 4WD machines offer 20% better fuel efficiency in front-loading applications. The high dump shovel facilitates the machine to load materials up to 4.0m from the front shovel and is best suited for loading and high body truck loading applications. The new extending dipper provides an additional 1.0m deeper reach over the standard 4.77m dig depth. The machines have an eco-mode for lower fuel consumption and a plus mode for higher productivity.
The 3DX Super has 10% better fuel efficiency and has several unique features like auto stop, auto idle, digital display, guide me home, SOS switch, etc., increasing safety, comfort, and efficiency. There are several attachments on display to showcase the versatility of JCB backhoe loaders.
In excavators, where JCB has made significant investments in its range, it introduced the new JCB 345LC HD tracked excavator, a high-performance machine with a powerful 221 HP engine. It is designed to work in hard strata and features a new hea vy-duty deep section boom and arm with cast pivots for durability. With proven hydraulic aggregates, heavy-duty undercarriage, an engine with an in-line fuel injection system and extended service intervals, the new JCB345LCHD offers high uptime and low maintenance costs.
The company also exhibited the NXT 225LC M tracked excavator with a mechanical fuel injection system. It comes fitted with a power boost feature, a heavy-duty bucket and eco-hydraulics along with ‘Intellicontrol’ and has 10 different power modes giving 5% higher fuel efficiency & 5% output. Also introduced was the new NXT210LC Tunnel Master, a solution designed for tunnelling applications. The dig end has been designed and adapted to work in a tunnelling environment in confined spaces. The Tunnel Master machine augments the application-related solutions to the customers, enabling India’s infrastructure development.
Also on display was the new NXT 205, which has 8% improved fuel efficiency, is integrated with eco-hydraulics and ‘Intellicontrol’, and has 10 power modes offering high fuel efficiency and productivity.
In the smaller range of compact mini excavators, the JCB 18Z, along with the JCB 19C-1E electric mini excavator, were showcased. The 19C is a Zero-Emission machine and has four Lithium-ion batteries that power the machine for a full day on a single charge. With a significant focus on safety and productivity, JCB’s 2GO system safely isolates all controls as a secondary safety system. Its auto-idle and auto kick-up redistribute power to preserve battery life.
The 18Z is designed to work in tight spaces in urban as well as rural applications. Available with a retractable undercarriage feature, the 18Z can enter areas with a 1.0m width, making it easy to work in confined areas.
In the material handling segment, JCB India launched the 540-180 HiViz, an 18m reach telescopic handler. It is powered by a 55 kW JCB ecoMax 444 engine without the need for engine after-treatment and has a maximum lift capacity of up to 4 Tons. It has a precise high-speed double boom chain extension system to maximise job site efficiency and a Q-fit mechanism to quickly change 30+ attachments, making the machine multipurpose. The machine comes with an airconditioned, 360° high-visibility global design cabin with ROPS and FOPS.
JCB also displayed two-wheeled loading shovels, the first being the 437-4, which comes with a JCB ecoMax 448 engine and an automatic ZF Transmission. It has an improved fuel efficiency of up to 10% as compared to the previous model; with extended service intervals, this machine is also lower on maintenance cost. The 455-4 has a Cummins engine and ZF Axles and transmission. With an increased output of up to 5% in Power mode and a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 10%, as compared to the previous model.
The VM 117 soil compactor, which is powered by a 55 kW JCB ecoMax 444 engine without the need for engine after-treatment, is up to 10% more fuel-efficient than the previous model. It has high productivity, reliability and operator comfort that make it a preferred choice for compaction needs.
The company’s CPCB IV+ Gensets with Intelli SYNC technology were also on display. The 60QI CPCB IV+ is the first machine of this next-generation series. It is powered by a class-leading JCB 4.4 L engine offering 16 hours per day running capability at 100% load. It has a compact size of 2.5m and comes with an “Intelli SYNC” option that provides the freedom to add multiple gensets as compared to a single large genset. It is India’s 1st full-band EMI/EMC-compliant diesel genset. JCB also presented the 125QI CPCB IV+, which at 2.7 m is the smallest 125kVA Genset.
With more urban infrastructure being created and for applications such as solid waste management and material handling JCB also had the JCB 155 skid steer on display. The machine has a unique monoboom design with a side door for safe entry and exit. It has an enhanced 270 degrees visibility and has the largest cabin by volume.
Additionally, the articulated scissors and boom lift in the electric range for smart infrastructure and urban applications were also showcased. These ‘Made in India’ machines have been designed with safety operations at height in mind as per customer applications. The range from 19ft to 45ft was on display, including the S1932E, S3246E, S4550E and the A45E machines.

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