JCB adds hydrogen fuel cell car to its fleet

Lord Bamford (right) and Agustin Martin with JCB’s new hydrogen fuelled backhoe loader and the new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuelled car

JCB has announced it has taken delivery of the latest Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car – just as the manufacturer develops its own hydrogen engine technology.

The vehicle is among the first batch of Toyota’s second-generation hydrogen-fuelled cars to arrive in the UK.

The purchase comes as JCB invests £100 million in the development of ‘super-efficient’ hydrogen engines to power its equipment. Two prototype hydrogen powered machines have already been unveiled: a backhoe loader and a Loadall telehandler, which were displayed during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It is the second hydrogen fuelled Toyota Mirai bought by JCB following the purchase of a first-generation model in 2015. The new Mirai was handed over to JCB chairman Lord Bamford by president and MD of Toyota (GB), Agustin Martin.

Lord Bamford said, “We applaud Toyota for its consistency in exploring the potential of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels in cars. Indeed, just in the past few months, Mr Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, has been testing a Toyota car powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, the same technology that JCB is pioneering for its own machinery.

“Having a hydrogen fuel cell car in our fleet makes perfect sense as we pursue hydrogen as a fuel of the future.”

Agustin Martin added, “JCB’s research and development into hydrogen engines marks a significant and forward-thinking shift in the construction and agriculture worlds. It’s exciting to see another industry taking the steps towards decarbonising society through the application of hydrogen technology.”

Toyota’s new Mirai is said to offer ‘enhanced driving performance, better fuel efficiency, a 30% greater driving range and a price tag almost 25% lower than its predecessor’.

JCB said the increased efficiency of Mirai’s fuel cell system, coupled with a 1kg increase in hydrogen capacity, gives the car a range of approximately 400 miles – an increase of 100 miles over the first generation model.

Fuelled by hydrogen, Mirai can be refilled in minutes. It emits only pure water and, through the use of a new electrostatic filter, removes almost 100% of particulate matter from the air as it drives.