JCB has announced it had secured its biggest fleet deal to date for its brand new electric mini excavator – just weeks after going into full production.

The 19C-1E models – JCB’s first-ever electric diggers – are coming off the assembly line at JCB Compact Products in Cheadle, Staffordshire, with orders rolling in from customers from across Europe and North America.

Today the company announced that A-Plant – one of the UK’s leading equipment rental companies – has invested a fleet of 10 of the electric machines in a deal worth more than £350,000.

A staggering five times quieter than its diesel counterpart, the model is expected to be a big hit with companies working inside buildings and in emissions and noise-sensitive inner-city areas. Fully charged, the 19C-1E can put in a typical full day’s shift for a mini excavator.

Yvette Henshall-Bell, JCB’s Group managing director for Global Major Accounts, said: “JCB’s electric mini excavator is taking the industry by storm and we are delighted that A-Plant is leading the way by placing the largest order to date for this innovative product.”

Dave Harris, business development director for A-Plant, said the investment was indicative of the company’s commitment to purchase a growing range of low or zero carbon products from key suppliers.

He said: “A-Plant is at the forefront of equipment hire in the UK and we pride ourselves on offering the most comprehensive, innovative and sustainable equipment in the industry.

“Each year we invest millions of pounds in new innovative products to ensure that our customers hire the most reliable, safe and environmentally friendly equipment available and we are excited to be taking the lead on electrification with our new fleet of electric JCB excavators. Offering all of the performance of a conventional excavator, but with added eco-friendly credentials, we’re sure the new fleet will be extremely popular with customers.”

Designed to meet a growing need for low carbon construction equipment, the new fleet will allow contactors to work inside buildings, in emissions and noise-sensitive inner city areas and in tunnels or underground, without having to install exhaust extraction equipment.

With many of the UK’s major contractors becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, A-Plant has committed to helping its customers reduce their impact on the environment and move towards a zero carbon future.

Dave Harris added: “Over the past year, we have witnessed significant customer demand for sustainable construction equipment and have made this a key focus of the company’s investment strategy. This year we have invested over £4million low or zero carbon equipment and are proud to be able to deliver the latest, sustainable options to customers.”

Key features of the new 19E-1 electric mini excavators include: three or four lithium-ion battery packs providing a 15-20kWh storage capacity, load-sensing hydraulic system delivering powerful digging performance, a sophisticated battery management system ensuring full-shift availability, a convenient on-board charger with 110V input for 12-hour recharging capability, the option for 230V charging when required, with 8-hour recharging time and fast charge option allowing a full charge in under 2 hours.