JCB electric excavator lands top engineering award

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JCB’s electric mini excavator has scooped one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for engineering innovation.

The UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering today announced that JCB’s ultra-quiet and zero emissions 19C-1E electric digger has won the 2020 MacRobert Award. The MacRobert Award is a prize for innovation that has been presented since 1969 to honour a wide variety of engineering feats, including the CT scanner and Rolls-Royce’s Pegasus engine used in the Harrier jump jet.

JCB faced strong competition for this year’s award from two other shortlisted finalists: the all-electric I-PACE sports utility vehicle from Jaguar Land Rover and ecoSMRT liquid natural gas reliquification technology from Babcock’s LGE business.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “To win one of the world’s most respected engineering prizes is an outstanding endorsement for JCB’s electrification team, who have achieved so much in applying a science which was new to our business. JCB’s electric mini excavator will contribute to a zero carbon future and it’s a huge honour for our contribution to be recognised in this way.”

Professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award judging panel, said: “JCB’s electric digger is a huge engineering achievement. The team has developed all parts of the electric propulsion system to deliver system performance that matches real customer requirements. This is a huge achievement in itself, but the additional benefits of zero exhaust emissions and much lower noise has lifted the 19C-1E excavator to a new level.”

 

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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