Builders Turn to Electric and Hydrogen Fuel Cell-Powered Equipment

Does the future of construction include the increased use of electric- and hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment? That’s what a new CNBC article indicates may be possible, as it reports how companies are creating and testing these machines.

For example, CNBC reports, builders used the Electric Telehandler 2.6t, supplied by Flannery, on a section of the new H2 high-speed rail project in the United Kingdom. The project aims to lower travel times between London and such cities as Birmingham and Manchester.

During its trial week of use, the machine was estimated to have saved more than 400 liters of fuel when compared to a combustion telehandler. It also runs on a lithium battery and doesn’t produce carbon dioxide emissions. 

“We were pleased to be the first construction site in the U.K. to trial the Eco Telehandler with Flannery and will be looking at opportunities to bring them on site to reduce carbon and deliver the project more efficiently,” said James Richardson, the managing director of the Costain Skanska STRABAG Joint Venture, which is taking on portions of the HS2 project.

The innovations don’t end there, CNBC reports. JCB recently developed an excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The vehicle, which weighs 20 metric tons, underwent more than a year of testing and only sends out an exhaust emission of water. 

But this is not the first environmentally friendly product from the company, which started full production last year on “the construction industry’s first fully electric mini excavator,” JCB said, which noted that its 19C-1E digger produces no emissions.

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