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Aberdeen awards ULEMCo contract for 35 hydrogen dual-fuel utility vehicle conversions

ULEMCo has been awarded a major fleet-wide contract by Aberdeen City Council (ACC) for its hydrogen dual-fuel utility vehicle conversions. (Earlier post.) The contract, initially for 35 vehicles, is a strong signal of commitment to a hydrogen-based strategy, and will see the Council operating the largest fleet of hydrogen vehicles in the UK.

ULEMCo’s H2ICED allows hydrogen to be mixed with diesel directly in a conventional engine, supplied via onboard gas tanks, in volumes that displace between 30-70% of the energy from diesel. This gives a direct tailpipe CO2 emission savings based on the comparative use of zero carbon hydrogen instead of diesel.

ULEMCo has supplied heavy-duty vehicles to ACC previously, and these have been running successfully on the roads for over a year. This new order, part of a Fleetwide Conversion commitment, includes further refuse collection vehicles and road sweepers, but also a wide variety of other utility trucks including tippers and tractors.


It clearly demonstrates the flexibility of ULEMCo’s H2ICED hydrogen dual-fuel technology in offering a practical route to saving CO2 emissions across whole fleets today.

The converted vehicles will create significant demand for the growing Hydrogen Hub in the region, supporting the Council’s commitment to deliver a thriving hydrogen economy in the area, and creating the demand for more highly skilled jobs.

Part of the contract allows for vehicles to be converted locally, which both contributes to employment in Aberdeen and improves the logistics of moving the vehicles to Liverpool for the upgrade.

Having benefited from investment by Edinburgh-based angel investment syndicate Equity Gap, and with Scotland’s national economic development agency Scottish Enterprise as a shareholder, ULEMCo sees Aberdeen and the rest of Scotland as key areas for investment for their conversion center roll-out program, and therefore extremely important to facilitating the rapid growth of hydrogen deployment, and delivering cleaner mobility in Scottish cities.

ACC is targeting the assets that are hard to decarbonize such as tractors and tippers, as well as converting further refuse vehicles and sweepers in lieu of any commercially available ‘zero-emission’ alternatives, which are not expected for some time yet.



Here is an article bringing up a point I had not previously seen emphasised on why fleets are seeking to introduce fuel cell vehicles:

Charging times, reduced range, etc particularly in intermittent cold weather mean that fleets would need more BEV vehicles, Fulvi put it at an additional one in ten, or more.

And for things like refrigerated goods, the load on batteries is just too much.

Also noted is that the real reason that the heavy branch of VW, Traton, has not invested in fuel cells, is that they have not got the money, so will have to buy it in.

They have been driven to this partly because the VW group, with its drive for batteries everywhere, has transformed itself from being around level pegging with with TMC to selling a couple of million less vehicles per year.

And it is supposed to be Toyota who have not got a clue.

How anyone can imagine that VW has pursued sensible commercial policies baffles me.

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