Digger-maker JCB has scooped the UK’s most prestigious engineering prize – just days after securing a £217m order with the U.S Military.
The Rocester digger-maker saw off competition from Jaguar Land Rover and Babcock’s LGE business to win the 2020 MacRobert Award for its world-first electric digger.
The company was awarded the top prize – £50,000 in cash and a gold medal – from The Royal Academy of Engineering who describe the accolade as the most prestigious prize for UK engineering innovation.
The 19C-IE digger from JCB is the world’s first volume-produced fully electric digger.
To date, the current fleet has saved the equivalent of 15,100kg in CO2 emissions across 5,616 hours of work.
As well as significantly reducing carbon emissions, the electric digger has zero exhaust emissions and very low noise levels.
On winning the award, JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “To win one of the world’s most respected engineering prizes is an outstanding endorsement for JCB’s electrification team, who have achieved so much in applying a science which was new to our business.
“JCB’s electric mini excavator will contribute to a zero carbon future and help make the world more sustainable. It’s a huge honour for our contribution to be recognised in this way.”
Professor Sir Richard Friend, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award judging panel, said: “The digger is more than a great bit of engineering; it has the power to be the catalyst for change in an industry that is responsible for around 10 per cent of all of the UK’s carbon emissions.”
The award win comes just days after the Staffordshire manufacturer secured a major new contract to supply a 400-strong fleet of High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs) to the U.S Army and the U.S Marine Corps over the next eight years.