Hydrogen fuel pioneer Liverpool-based ULEMCo has started development using the FC fuel cell module from the Toyota Motor Corporation, as it develops a range of optimised hydrogen fuel cell solutions for electric vehicle applications.
As the first step, ULEMCo is obtaining a fuel cell for evaluation under the feasibility project HySPERT (Hydrogen Special Purpose Electric vehicle platform for refuse collection and fire engines).
The Toyota fuel cell has been selected by ULEMCo using their extensive experience of fuel cell technologies, as it promises easier and faster integration, and is a good fit for the application.
ULEMCo is developing a platform approach under its HyVERIE brand, which takes a flexible approach to configuring fuel cell electric vehicle solutions that can be configured on chassis gliders or bespoke specialist body designs. This enables an optimised ‘fit for purpose’ design in a range of applications – something that the company believes the major automotive OEMs will not tackle for some time to come.
By developing an understanding of the real-world use and duty cycles of a variety of specialist heavy duty vehicle applications, ULEMCo is building its capability to offer a variety of hydrogen-based solutions that meet customer / operator needs directly, rather than offering a single design approach.
ULEMCo became involved after a rigorous selection process, and they now have access to the extensive expertise in Toyota Motors Japan and technical support.
“We are excited to be at the start of this important collaboration”, said Amanda Lyne, Managing Director of ULEMCo.
“I firmly believe that a ‘horses for courses’ approach is needed for us to decarbonise transport completely for net zero. In heavy vehicles, we have relied for many years on engine technology and one fuel (diesel) that was cheap but inefficient.
“With battery and hydrogen solutions we need to be efficient and effective with our resources. Smaller specialist companies like ULEMCo have a real opportunity to innovate and fill the ‘gaps’ that the big OEMs are just not able to fulfil.”