JCB’s first ‘electric’ excavator breaks ground

JCB has unveiled its first ever electric excavator; the new mini-digger is the “quietest machine in its range” and delivers “zero emissions”.

The brand new 19C-1 E-TEC mini-excavator was developed at JCB’s world HQ in Staffordshire.

With a drive towards lower emissions, the 19C-1 E-TEC is aimed at users working inside buildings and in emissions-sensitive environments. For example, it allows rail contractors to operate in tunnels and underground – without having to install costly exhaust extraction equipment.

While not targeted at users such as agricultural contractors, it does point to a strengthening trend in the wider excavator sector.

Another “huge advantage” of the new electric ‘mini’ is that external noise – at 7dBA lower – is apparently five times quieter than its traditional diesel-powered counterpart.

Image source:

JCB says that the fully-charged electric machine is capable of “putting in a full shift in normal operation”. Obviously, no daily checks of coolant or engine oil levels are needed.

JCB’s Tim Burnhope explained: “By replacing the diesel engine with a 48V electrical driveline, with the latest-generation automotive battery cells, JCB has once again moved the mini-excavator market forward.”

New family of tracked machines

In wider excavator market news, JCB has ploughed £110 million into developing its new ‘X Series’.

These new machines will compete in a global tracked excavator market where almost 190,000 units are sold every year. The new machines are starting to come off production lines in Uttoxeter and are now being delivered to customers around the world.


Group CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “This is a massive investment and underlines just how serious JCB is in building its presence in the tracked excavator sector. Over the last four years our design team has been developing a game-changing excavator – one that is ready to seize the opportunity offered by the period of growth the construction industry is currently experiencing.”

JCB manufactured its first tracked excavator in 1965 and the ‘X Series’ is the 10th generation of this particular type of JCB product.

One of the main features of the new X Series is a cab that is 15% bigger than before – supposedly making it one of the biggest on the market. Fuel consumption is also claimed to be 15% better.