The firm said it had produced the battery powered digger to meet customer demands for a zero emissions machine that can work indoors, underground and close to people in urban areas.
The 1.9 tonne electric mini excavator can be charged by simply plugging it into a standard 230 volt domestic electricity supply.
Once fully charged, it is ready to put in a full normal working day on the building site – digging with the same speed and power as its diesel counterpart. Super-fast charging will also be available at launch, slashing the charging time in half.
The innovative19C-1 E-Tec will go on sale at the end of year after being developed in secret at the company’s Staffordshire HQ.
Its development has been spearheaded by chairman Lord Bamford who today heralded its arrival as a “real breakthrough” for construction.
Lord Bamford said: “JCB has been at the forefront of developing innovative, low emission diesel powered construction equipment for decades. In fact, thanks to our clean diesel technology, typical JCB machines will be pretty close to zero emissions by next year.
“But with urbanisation, machines are operating more closely to people as well as digging underground, indoors, near hospitals and in food production environments.
“As a result, there is a new zero emissions sector emerging and it’s emerging very quickly. It’s for this reason we have put ourselves at the forefront of alternative power technologies and developed the first ever electric JCB digger.”
All well as offering zero emissions, the electric mini will also be the quietest in the JCB range.
This means contractors can work after normal hours in urban streets, around hospitals and close to schools without disturbing people. The machine also has a retractable undercarriage to enable it to negotiate tight spaces.