JCB electric excavators on the way to customers

Machinery manufacturer JCB has launched the world’s first all-electric excavator. The 19C-1E has been delivered to over 50 customers, with more to follow in Europe and North America. Are the days of the noisy construction site almost over?

If you’ve spent time on a construction site, mine, or farm, you’re probably familiar with JCB. Their iconic yellow vehicles are synonymous with heavy industry worldwide. 

This week marks a milestone for them as their first electric vehicle, the 19C-1E mini excavator, makes its way to customers. This machine, unveiled in 2018, has been delivered to 50 customers already with production slated for Europe and North America. 

We are, of course, using ‘mini’ in the industrial sense. This 1.9-tonne machine is still capable of shifting huge quantities of earth over a day’s work, which JCB claims it can complete on a single charge.

They’ve also stated that charging takes less than 2 hours total, making the 19C-1E ideal for long shifts with relatively short breaks. 

And since it’s electric, it does all that work 5x quieter than the equivalent diesel model. With more machines manufactured with electric drivetrains, worksites of the future may be significantly less disruptive than they are today — the value of this is obvious to anyone that’s ever had to live next to one.

“In urban environments in particular, contractors are understandably very keen to operate zero emissions equipment whenever possible, including outdoors. I’m delighted that the model is now in full production after successful feedback from customers in many key markets during the evaluation stage.”

— Tim Burnhope: JCB Chief Innovation Officer

It will also be perfect for indoor and underground work, where its lack of noise and emissions are especially valuable.

Without a loud engine to alert nearby workers, the 19C-1E is equipped with extremely bright blue LEDs for visibility and onsite safety. 

JCB don’t publish their pricing for individual models, but they have confirmed the e-digger runs 50% cheaper than diesel with 70% lower service costs over the life of the machine.

And while they do operate worldwide, they have not confirmed future delivery of the 19C-1E for Australian customers and it isn’t listed on their Australian website. The 19C-1 diesel equivalent is available.

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