Shadow chancellor gains insight into JCB’s hydrogen engine project

Rachel Reeves MP with JCB chief innovation and growth director Tim Burnhope (left) and Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB Union

LABOUR’S shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves recently received first-hand insight into JCB’s £100 million investment in hydrogen engines.

The development of the hydrogen combustion engine is being undertaken by a team of more than 100 engineers at JCB Power Systems in Foston, Derbyshire.

The MP toured the engine plant, where she was shown the production area and testing processes involved in developing the engine.

Accompanied by Gary Smith, the general secretary of the GMB Union, she later watched a demonstration of a prototype backhoe loader powered by a hydrogen combustion engine. She then tried her hand at the task of refuelling the machine with hydrogen.

Rachel Reeves said, “It was fantastic to see JCB’s zero emission machinery during my visit. I saw first-hand how hydrogen combustion engines can play an important role in decarbonising the construction industry and agriculture. It’s clear that zero carbon technologies are the way forward for Britain.”

JCB chairman Lord Bamford added, “It was a pleasure to show the shadow chancellor the great strides our British engineers are taking in developing a solution to power our machines in the future. They need to be powered by something other than fossil fuels in the years to come and super-efficient, affordable, high-tech hydrogen engines with zero emissions can be brought to market quickly using our existing supply base.”