ULEMCo, the company pioneering the adoption of ultra-low emission hydrogen fuel in the UK, has started the UK’s largest single deployment of hydrogen dual fuel vehicles yet seen.
This follows an order secured with Scottish company James A Cuthbertson Ltd, to transform Glasgow City Council’s existing fleet and some new gritters to be hydrogen enabled.
Thanks to Scottish Government funding through Transport Scotland, the work will see 20 gritter / multi-purpose vehicles ready for use on the streets by next winter, providing a significant opportunity for a reduction in CO2 emissions.
Around half of the fleet of 20 vehicles will be converted to hydrogen dual fuel, while the rest will be hydrogen enabled from the start.
Based on the gritters’ normal duty cycles, around a third of the energy is expected to come from hydrogen, resulting in the same proportion of emissions being saved.
The City Council is in the process of securing ‘green hydrogen’ for the fleet to refuel.
It is also expected that other air quality emissions like NOx will be greatly reduced compared with the base vehicle; ULEMCo’s H2ICED technology ensures that hydrogen is used in the fuel mix when it can burn most efficiently, and with benefits to tailpipe emissions.
ULEMCo has found a ready market for its hydrogen dual fuel conversions in heavy duty ‘back to base’ utility vehicles, where the practicality and cleaner performance are readily apparent.
“We see this development as part of a wider roll-out of hydrogen fuelled fleets across the country”Ewan Tolson, Sales Manager, Cuthbertson
This is the first set of conversions for gritter lorries and is the company’s largest volume order to date.
Deploying fleets of hydrogen vehicles in this way builds the base load for hydrogen infrastructure investment, as well as saving large volumes of CO2.
It helps to create a market for hydrogen fuel that will make it easier for other local authorities and businesses to switch to the cleaner fuel.
“The environmental impact of large diesel-powered utility vehicles is very high in city centres”, says Amanda Lyne, Managing Director of ULEMCo.
“We are delighted to support Glasgow City Council in its ambition to become Britain’s first zero net carbon city, and help to ensure that its entire fleet of 2000 vehicles is carbon free by the end of the decade.”
“We see this development as part of a wider roll-out of hydrogen fuelled fleets across the country, and are really pleased that our first such order is with a local authority so close to our factory in Biggar”, said Ewan Tolson, Sales Manager at Cuthbertson.
“Our long history and experience of designing and manufacturing specialist highway vehicle bodywork combines well with ULEMCo’s specialist expertise in deploying hydrogen fuel systems – creating a completely UK-manufactured solution.”
ULEMCo expects to deliver the vehicles in the coming months, where they will contribute immediately to cleaner air in the city.
ULEMCo Ltd is the world’s first hydrogen commercial vehicle conversion company, enabling fleet, commercial and niche vehicle owners to have access to zero emission hydrogen fuel, as part of their strategies to reduce transport related carbon emissions.
Based in Liverpool, UK, ULEMCo was founded in 2014 as a spin-out of Revolve Technologies, to commercialise intellectual property and capability in hydrogen combustion engine technology.
The company converts vehicles, having started with diesel Ford Transit vans, to enable them to run on commercially available hydrogen. The technology allows vehicle fleet managers to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions to ultra-low levels.
Commercial fleets across the UK benefit from a reduced carbon foot print while still having the full range capability of standard diesel vehicles.
Alongside various partners, ULEMCo already supports a fleet of vehicles across a range of hydrogen hubs in the UK.
The company is targeting commercial fleet conversions to grow the market significantly over the next 18 months, and then expand into other vehicle types over the longer term.
Its growth plans include creating a hydrogen re-fuelling network to capitalise on the existing local infrastructure for this ‘green’ fuel.