2023 – Quite a Year for ULEMCo and for Hydrogen

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Like many, we’ve been looking back on 2023 – and we have to say what a great year it was! Significantly, our long term belief in the strategy of establishing hydrogen hubs around the UK and beyond was well borne out from the start to the finish of the year, and illustrated by two key events for both ourselves and the UK as a whole.

For ULEMCo, 2023 started with an order, in fact a major fleet-wide conversion contract from Aberdeen City Council (ACC) to enable almost all their HGV fleet to run on hydrogen. The delivery of this contract has further validated our vision of providing scaled demand for hydrogen in transport, across a wide range of heavy duty utility vehicles. We’ve now completed conversions on a full fleet of refuse trucks, road sweepers, gritters, specialist highways maintenance equipment and even an agricultural tractor used in parks and gardens services. ACC now has the largest fleet of hydrogen enabled vehicles in the UK, if not the world!

By supporting the development of hydrogen supply hubs at strategic locations, our fleetwide conversion approach creates demand for clean hydrogen fuel right away, at the same time as making an immediate difference to CO2 emissions and helping to deliver net-zero objectives while a national infrastructure is being built up.

At the other end of the year came the UK government announcement that following the launch of the first hydrogen allocation round (HAR1) in 2022, 11 new projects have now been successful in gaining contracts. The projects cover eight regions across England, Scotland and Wales, and together total 125MW capacity.

Along with other government measures, this £2 billion of revenue support gives hydrogen developers, investors and supply chain companies the certainty they need to commit to hydrogen, and puts the UK in a leading position internationally. From ULEMCo’s perspective these projects represent a major opportunity to see the availability of hydrogen as a fuel become a reality, and unlock supply for transport hubs across the country. 

So that’s 2023 – what of 2024?

We’re continuing to develop hydrogen technologies on a broad front, including hydrogen combustion engines and fuel cells in addition to our successful dual-fuel approach.

Our ground-breaking R&D projects to deliver zero-carbon emission solutions, includes making progress with our Hyerpower project. This sees the development of our fuel-cell range extension module for Fire Engines, Ambulances and other utility vehicles in the market in the next three years.

We’ll take the next steps with our globally innovative HyICE hybrid electric technology for upcycling and repowering specialist equipment like airport ground support vehicles, and other off road applications such as tow trucks and runway sweepers. We’re expecting this year to have more news on the demonstrations and delivery of these prototypes in real world applications, showing how hydrogen can offer truly practical solutions to these hard to decarbonise applications.

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