JCB wins Dewar Trophy for AB H2 hydrogen ICE

By Julian Buckley02 November 2021

JCB chairman Lord Bamford receives the 2021 Dewars Trophy JCB chairman Lord Bamford receives the 2021 Dewar Trophy

UK-based off-road vehicle and engine manufacturer JCB has been awarded the Dewar Trophy for its AB H2 hydrogen internal combustion engine.

The Dewars Trophy, named after Sir Thomas Dewar (later Lord Dewar) has been awarded annually since 1957 to companies and groups which have delivered outstanding technical achievement in engineering over the preceding year.

Unveiled in May this year, the AB H2 engine is intended to help the transportation and off-road machinery industry to achieve zero-emissions targets.

Based on a Dieselmax 448 four-cylinder engine, key differences for the AB H2 include the common-rail fuel delivery system, port injectors and spark plugs. The hydrogen ICE also features a new induction system and advanced turbocharging technology designed specifically to support hydrogen fuel.

The engine is designed to withstand the rigours of off-road applications, while also being potentially suitable for other vehicle applications.

Lord Anthony Bamford, JCB chairman, received the award at the ceremony held at the Royal Automobile Club in London, UK.

In his acceptance speech, Lord Bamford said: “An excavator is about £130,000. The same machine with a fuel cell in it is £300,000. In other words, you can’t sell it. Beyond that, it’s highly sensitive to climate, to dirt, normal things we have to cope with daily with our products.

“It has been fascinating to see the [AB H2] in development. We have an engine which will be in production by the end of next year. The only thing stopping us is producing it now is suppliers, we need them to support us. That includes questions about fuel transport, getting the fuel to the machines.”

JCB has won the Dewar Trophy on two previous occasions. In 2007, the company won the award for the Dieselmax ‘Streamliner’ car, which still holds the land speed record for a vehicle with a diesel engine (350.092 mph, 563 km/h). The company won its second award in 2019 for the 19C-1E all-electric mini excavator.

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