JCB picks up Dewar Trophy for outstanding engineering for a second time

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Earlier this week we were lucky enough to be invited to The Royal Automobile Club as it awarded the prestigious Dewar Trophy to JCB for it’s electric-powered mini excavator.

The Dewar Trophy is the CLub’s recognition of ‘Outstanding Technical Achievement in the British Automotive Industry’, with the large trophy only presented in years when the Club’s expert committee believes that there are contenders of sufficient merit.

This is one such year, and we were treated to finding out more about the JCB 19C-1E from the company’s director of advanced engineering Bob Womersley.

The lack of emissions and reduction in noise means that the JCB 19C-1E is the perfect tool for urban and indoor projects

The exterior design and cabin layout are cleverly maintained from the digger’s diesel sibling, but underneath the yellow bodywork is a system built from scratch by JCB’s engineering team, and the resulting product has huge benefits.

The 19C-1E is a staggering five-times quieter than its diesel counterpart and can be fully charged in under two hours. The lack of emission fumes mean it is already a big hit with companies working inside buildings and noise-sensitive inner-city areas.

Most importantly, fully charged it can put in a typical full day’s shift for a mini excavator.


Many of the electrical component parts have been sourced from UK partners, with the all important batteries coming from a supplier in Sunderland.

Having these local partners also helped shorten development time and assisted things like testing and verification – with Womersley very serious that this first electric offering from the company had to be above and beyond the normal for a mini excavator.

JCB electric mini excavator
JCB’s 19C-1E is believed to be the construction industry’s first fully electric mini digger

200 have already been sold, with the order book already full for next year – meaning that it has already taken a surprising chunk of its market.

This is partly down to the love of the electric system by its operators – the electric motor produces far fewer vibrations, making precision jobs easier, while the electrics powering the hydraulics lend themselves to smoother power application.

This is the second time that JCB has won the Dewar Trophy, having been presented with the award in 2007 for its outstanding achievement in breaking the world diesel landspeed record with the JCB Dieselmax car powered by two JCB engines.

Driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, the car reached a speed of 350.092mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA. The record still stands today.

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