JCB electric excavator shortlisted for engineering award


JCB’s 19C-1E mini-excavator has been named as one of three products shortlisted for the 2020 MacRobert Award.

The digger, developed by Staffordshire-based JCB, produces no exhaust emissions and is much quieter than existing construction machines. The hundreds of models sold around the world so far are already responsible for saving the equivalent of 15,100kg in CO2 emissions across 5,616 hours of work.

The MacRobert Award judges were impressed with the way JCB brought a range of engineering disciplines together in developing the machine. They also identified the optimised battery life and ability to operate indoors as important innovations and felt that in developing the 19C-1E, the company has demonstrated the utility of electric machines in a construction setting and the potential for future sustainable innovation in the sector.

The JCB 19C-1E has been selected as a finalist for the MacRobert Award alongside the all-electric I-PACE sports utility vehicle from Jaguar Land Rover and ecoSMRT liquid natural gas reliquification technology from Babcock’s LGE business.

All three finalists demonstrate the sheer ingenuity of engineers in developing significant engineering innovations that support the Academy’s drive to build a sustainable society, enabling faster decarbonisation and more sustainable use of resources.

The winner will be announced in July, with the winning team set to receive the signature MacRobert Award gold medal and a £50,000 cash prize.

“To be nominated for the UK’s most prestigious engineering award is a tremendous honour for the JCB electric team, who have excelled and risen to the challenge of introducing a brand new technology to our business,” said Tim Burnhope chief innovation and growth officer at JCB.

Founded in 1969, the MacRobert Award is overseen by the Royal Academy of Engineering and is the UK’s longest running engineering prize. It endorses engineering achievements that demonstrate outstanding innovation, tangible societal benefit and proven commercial success.


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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 He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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