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2020 MacRobert Award Winner Announced – JCB’s Electric Digger


13th Jul 2020

Following our recent blog on the shortlist of finalists for the 2020 MacRobert Award, the Royal Academy of Engineering has now announced that the winner of the 2020 MacRobert Award is JCB, with the 19C-1E electric digger.

The judging panel for the 2020 MacRobert Award comprised an expert panel of Royal Academy Fellows, who were impressed with the way JCB brought a range of engineering disciplines together in developing the 19C-1E. Optimised battery life and the ability to operate indoors were also seen as important innovations in the machine. The Chair of the judging panel, professor Sir Richard Friend FREng FRS, 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. The digger is more than a great bit of engineering, however. It has the power to be the catalyst for change in an industry that is responsible for around 10% of all of the UK’s carbon emissions.”

JCB faced strong competition from Jaguar Land Rover’s I-PACE® premium battery-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV), and the ecoSMRT® liquefied natural gas reliquification technology from Babcock’s LGE business.

The winning team received a prize of £50,000, and a coveted gold medal.

The 19C-1E mini excavator is part of JCB’s “E-TECH” range of innovative products, which also includes the 30-19E, the world’s first fully electric Teletruk telescopic forklift to go into full production. In addition to the innovative “E-TECH” range of products, JCB has also recently unveiled the world’s first hydrogen powered excavator, the 20-tonne 220X, which is currently undergoing testing at JCB’s quarry proving grounds.

All of the innovations shortlisted for the 2020 MacRobert Award are world-first engineering innovations, which demonstrate that British engineering expertise continues to be at the forefront of green innovation in vehicle design.

If you are developing the next award winning innovation, and would like to discuss how to protect your IP, please get in touch.

This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.

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James Spencer
Senior Associate
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