JCB’s hydrogen engine scoops historic engineering award

Lord Bamford

JCB is celebrating after the manufacturer’s ‘super-efficient’ hydrogen engine won a top engineering award.

At a ceremony in London, JCB chairman Lord Bamford was presented with the Royal Automobile Club’s Dewar Trophy for the company’s development of a hydrogen fuel motor.

JCB’s zero CO² hydrogen fuel motor was designed after a challenge to the company’s engineers from Anthony Bamford. The company is investing £100 million in the project and has two prototype hydrogen fuelled machines on test: a backhoe loader and a Loadall telehandler.

Presented to the Club in 1904 by Sir Thomas Dewar MP, since 1957 the Dewar Trophy has been presented in recognition of ‘an outstanding British technical achievement in the automotive field during the preceding year’.

The award marks the third time JCB’s innovations have been honoured with the Dewar Trophy. In 2019 the company was recognised for the launch of the 19C-1E electric mini excavator. And in 2007, JCB triumphed after the JCB Dieselmax team set a diesel-powered Land Speed Record of 350.092mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats, USA.

Anthony Bamford said, “We’re extremely proud that the Royal Automobile Club has chosen to present JCB with the Dewar Trophy for the third time. Our new hydrogen-fuelled engines can be put into production relatively quickly and it’s an important and pioneering step towards a zero carbon future, and testament to the amazing abilities of our British engineers.”

John Wood MBE, chairman of the Dewar technical committee, said, “JCB has been a pioneer in terms of powertrain development since it started building its own engines in 2004. That ethos has continued with its latest hydrogen-fuelled engines, which are an inspiring combination of current expertise and next-generation technology.”