JCB electric digger gets the job done with no noise and no emissions

In response to customer demands for a yellow machine that can work indoors, underground and close to people in urban areas, UK-based heavy equipment manufacturer JCB has developed its first electric excavator (a “digger” to our British mates).

The 19C-1 E-Tec mini-excavator not only delivers zero emissions, it is five times quieter than its diesel-powered counterpart – external noise is 7 dBA lower. This means contractors can work after normal hours in urban streets without disturbing residents, and operate in noise-sensitive environments such as hospitals and schools. The e-digger delivers the same power as a diesel machine, and with no daily checks of coolant and engine oil levels required, it can get to work quicker.

The 19C-1 E-Tec has three lithium-ion battery packs with total energy capacity of 15 kWh. The rugged battery housing is designed for off-road construction use. The on-board charger can recharge in 6 hours at 230 V. An optional fast charging system will be available at launch, allowing a full charge in 2.5 hours.

Using a 48 V electrical system, the electric motor delivers instant, greater torque than the standard machine’s diesel engine. The motor drives a Bosch Rexroth load-sensing hydraulic system, delivering the same digging performance as JCB’s standard 1.9-ton excavator. The efficiency of this electric-hydraulic combination means a considerably lower cooling requirement – only a small hydraulic cooler with a small thermostatic electric fan and no engine radiator – contributing to longer battery life and a lower noise level. The 19C-1 E-TEC is equipped with the same adjustable undercarriage and choice of digging equipment as the diesel model.

The new digger is to go on sale at the end of this year.

“By replacing the diesel engine with an efficient, 48 V electrical driveline, with the latest-generation automotive battery cells, JCB has once again moved the mini-excavator market forwards,” said JCB Chief Innovation and Growth Officer Tim Burnhope. “The 19C-1 E-TEC will provide contractors with a zero-emission, low-noise solution, allowing them to work independently, in late night urban conditions, within buildings and even in rail tunnels with no requirement for costly exhaust extraction equipment.”


Source: JCB

  • Max Holland

    Great news – ideal application for powerful torque, low noise and low maintenance, where “range” is never a consideration. Much safer working conditions (low noise, low vibration, zero emissions) for operator and for nearby construction workers, easing communication and mitigating noise fatigue. Congratulations to JCB. Now let’s roll out this technology to other models in the JCB range.

  • Scott Matuszewski

    Great idea but the problem is electrical anything be it cars or whatever is way more harmful to the environment than the emissions.

    • Mark

      Do you have some kind of product lifecycle analysis indicating that is the case?

    • edteamslr

      Nice strawman you’re building there. Not quite plump enough mind – might want to consider stuffing in a few more fallacies while you’re at it…

  • mipak

    In 10 years you won’t be able to buy a diesel for any construction type be it excavating, hoisting, demolishing, etc. Electric is just superior in every way. No fires, No warm ups, no freezing water lines, no pollution, almost no noise, far lower fuel costs and repair costs, instant torque (power), no need for dumping a clutch to get moving (and risking blowing it out), smoother power (flat torque curve), etc, etc, etc, etc. Gas and diesel is so numbered and so many humans are completely unaware of the EVolution going on. The same holds true for all yard tractors–John Deere’s dominance is about to end because it doesn’t believe in EVs and knows it’s business is dependent on massive repair charges for it’s diesel fleets.

    • Brayden Fleece

      Your ignorance is laughable. While I agree with electrification of powertrains, Diesel engines will be required for years to come until battery energy density can provide a full 10-12hr shift and the logistics of charging a megawatt/hr worth if batteries on a job site overnight is solved.

      Also, John Deere is a market leader in EV technology. Do some research.

      • kingofl337

        As the poster said in 10 years time. The battery technology will definitely double if not triple in capacity by then. We are already knocking on the door if doubling current capacities with solid state and dry electrode.