ULEMCo, a Liverpool-based company that converts commercial vehicles to run on hydrogen fuel, has raised over £5 million in a funding round.

The round was led by Mercia Ventures, which was investing from its own funds and the first Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), and backed by existing investors Equity Gap, the North West Fund and Scottish Enterprise.

The new funding 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 around 100 new jobs across the UK over the next three to five years.

ULEMCo’s ‘dual fuel solution’ (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. The technology is suitable for different makes and types of vehicles including refuse trucks, road sweepers and other machines and equipment.

ULEMCo, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, was founded by Amanda Lyne, a CleanTech expert and serial entrepreneur who had previously co-founded hydrogen fuel cell specialist ACAL. 

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The company 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.

“These investments are a strong endorsement of our technology, capabilities and our vision”, said MD Lyne. “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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