JCB says it has developed the construction industry's first hydrogen-powered excavator as part of a push to zero and low carbon technologies.
The 20-tonne 220X excavator powered by a hydrogen fuel cell has been undergoing testing at JCB's quarry proving grounds for more than 12 months.
JCB chairman Lord Bamford said the company was the world's first construction equipment manufacturer to unveil a working prototype of an excavator powered by hydrogen.
"The development of the first hydrogen fuelled excavator is very exciting as we strive towards a zero carbon world," he said.
"In the coming months JCB will continue to develop and refine this technology with advanced testing of our prototype machine and we will continue to be at the forefront of technologies designed to build a zero carbon future."
Lord Bamford's son Jo Bamford spent 14 years at JCB before moving into the hydrogen sector, setting up Ryse Hydrogen and then buying Northern Ireland bus giant Wrightbus.
He has won contracts to supply the world's first hydrogen double-decker to cities such as London and Aberdeen in Scotland.
"I truly believe hydrogen is the UK's best opportunity to build a world-leading industry which creates jobs, cuts emissions and is the envy of the globe," Jo Bamford said
Power for JCB's prototype excavator is generated by reacting hydrogen with oxygen in a fuel cell to create the energy to run electric motors.
The only emission from the exhaust was water, Lord Bamford said.
Last year JCB went into full production of a fully electric mini excavator, the 19C-1E.
CB has also extended electric technology to its Teletruk telescopic forklift range with the launch of an electric model, the JCB 30-19E.
As well, a company spokesman said JCB had also been leading the way on clean diesel technology to meet Stage V EU emissions regulations and has almost eradicated the most harmful emissions from its latest range of diesel engines.
Nitrous oxide (NOx) was down 97 per cent, soot particulates down by 98pc and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions down by almost half.