Liverpool diesel-to-hydrogen firm secures £5m

Liverpool firm that converts commercial vehicles to run on hydrogen fuel secures new investment of more than £5m and aims to create 100 new jobs. Tony McDonough reports

ULEMCo converts commercial vehicles to run on hydrogen fuel


Liverpool diesel-to-hydrogen conversion firm ULEMCo has secured more than £5m in new investment to fund new innovation and create 100 new jobs.

Located close to Aintree Racecourse, ULEMCo converts commercial vehicles to run on hydrogen fuel. Last year LBN revealed the firm had won a £7.9m Government grant to develop hydrogen fuel technologies for emergency vehicles.

Now it has raised more than £5m in a funding round led by Mercia Ventures. This is investment from its own funds and from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and backed by existing investors Equity Gap, the North West Fund and Scottish Enterprise.

This cash will enable the company to expand its skilled conversion team and develop new products in  hydrogen dual fuel, fuel cell and zero-carbon emission combustion. It expects to create the new jobs across the UK over the next three to five years.

ULEMCo’s ‘dual fuel’ tech (H2CED) enables heavy duty vehicles to run off hydrogen but continue to use diesel where necessary. It allows operators to switch to cleaner fuel and significantly reduce their carbon emissions without having to replace their existing fleet.

This technology is suitable for different makes and types of vehicles including refuse trucks, road sweepers and other machines and equipment.

ULEMCo was founded 10 years ago by Amanda Lyne, a cleantech expert and serial entrepreneur who had previously co-founded hydrogen fuel cell specialist ACAL.

Over the past decade the venture has seen demand from businesses and local authorities, particularly in Scotland. Aberdeen alone now has 55 hydrogen-enabled vehicles as a result of the company’s first ‘fleetwide conversion contract’ with the city council.

READ MORE: Mersey hydrogen project… breakthrough or folly?

“These investments are a strong endorsement of our technology, capabilities and our vision”, said Amanda, who is managing director of the business. “The time is right for hydrogen to take an even more important role in the move to clean mobility and net zero.”

Rob Hornby of Mercia Ventures added: “Almost all heavy duty vehicles and machines are powered by diesel, but fleet operators are under pressure to reduce carbon.

“However there are limited options – electric vehicles do not work for heavy duty use and biofuel solutions have not yet proven to be scalable. Ulemco offers a practical and effective alternative.”

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