JCB terms hydrogen powered construction equipment as a big opportunity

Soruce : PTI | Construction equipment major JCB on Monday termed hydrogen-powered construction equipment a very big opportunity with the gradual scaling up of the supporting infrastructure. The company, which on Monday unveiled a backhoe loader powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, said it can scale up the model range as per the market demand.

“It’s only a matter of time before hydrogen becomes readily available in India for a variety of applications,” JCB India CEO and Managing Director Deepak Shetty told reporters here.

Hydrogen is a very big opportunity and scaling up the model range is not a challenge, he noted.

The company has already introduced electric and CNG products in the market and is also developing diesel models with enhanced fuel economy, Shetty said.

India is currently the largest market for JCB globally. The company’s plants in the country roll out products for over 130 global markets, including North America.

The company’s Ballabgarh (Haryana) factory is the world’s largest factory for backhoe loaders.

“The transition from diesel to hydrogen will be much faster than we think, and JCB India will be ready,” Shetty said.

Shetty said the company’s hydrogen combustion technology is already well-developed and there are many machines which are currently being tested.

A team of 150 JCB engineers is working on the initiative to develop hydrogen combustion engines – and more than 75 prototypes have already been manufactured at JCB’s UK engine plant.JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said India has a real opportunity to put hydrogen at the very centre of its net-zero future.

“It is a technology which is cost effective, robust, reliable and well known not just in the construction sector, but across the whole world,” he added.

When asked about business outlook for next year, Shetty said, “It should be a double digit sales growth.

JCB India is looking to close the current calendar year with around 20 per cent growth over 2022, he added.