JCB’s 19C-1E electric digger has won this year’s Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) MacRobert Award.
One of the world’s most prestigious prizes for engineering innovation, the MacRobert Award has been doing the rounds since 1969, and has so far honored a wide variety of engineering feats such as the CT scanner and Rolls-Royce’s Pegasus engine used in the Harrier jump jet.
This year’s finalists were Jaguar Land Rover’s all-electric I-PACE sports utility vehicle, Babcock’s LGE business’ ecoSMRT liquid natural gas reliquification technology, and of course the 2020 MacRobert Award winner, JCB’s 19C-1E electric digger.
Shedding light on why they chose the 19C-1E from among the other two, Professor Sir Richard Friend – Chair of the RAEng MacRobert Award judging panel – said that JCB’s electric digger was 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.”
The 19C-1E excavator is the world’s first volume-produced fully electric mini excavator.
JCB has also proven to both critics and customers alike that it is quite possible to make powerful construction machinery without an internal combustion engine.
Hundreds of these machines have been sold and so far they have saved the equivalent of 33,290 lbs in CO2 emissions across 5,616 hours of work.
The electric mini excavator also comes with zero exhaust emissions and can work at very low noise levels.
This combination makes it much better suited than traditional construction equipment for operating inside buildings or in areas where noise must be kept to a minimum – for example near hospitals and schools and in cities where night shift work is often necessary.
Image and content: JCB