JCB calls for hydrogen to play bigger part in net zero debate

Lord Bamford

JCB has said that it welcomes prime minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to have a ‘better, more honest’ debate on how the UK reaches net zero by 2050.

The company added that the debate needs to include how to plan for ‘practical and affordable’ alternatives to fossil fuels. Furthermore, JCB added that, alongside battery-electric technology, hydrogen technology needs to be part of the government’s plans to decarbonise.

JCB’s own plans to decarbonise its equipment are already ‘well advanced’. Smaller JCB machines are already powered by battery-electric technology, whilst larger equipment will be powered by hydrogen in purpose-designed internal combustion engines. Prototype JCB machines powered by hydrogen combustion engines have already undergone over 20,000 of hours of testing and have recently passed 10,000 miles on the road.

JCB chairman, Lord Bamford, said, “Hydrogen combustion technology is both practical and affordable, and if it were adopted more rapidly as a pragmatic alternative to fossil fuels, it would accelerate the decarbonisation of the construction industry and agriculture, allowing us to reach net zero targets more quickly. Hydrogen also has the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of other industry sectors, such as automotive, steelmaking, ceramics and shipping. It’s a technology that is not inflationary and it should feature more strongly in our country’s net zero plans.”