The contract, initially for 35 vehicles, will see the Council operating the largest fleet of hydrogen vehicles in the UK.
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.
ULEMCo says it clearly demonstrates the flexibility of its H2ICED hydrogen dual-fuel technology in offering a practical route to saving up to 40% of CO2 emissions across whole fleets today.
“We’re delighted to announce our first fleetwide conversion contract with Aberdeen City Council, where, over the next 18 months, we shall be enabling 35 vehicles to run on hydrogen dual fuel, with more in planning”, said Amanda Lyne, managing director of ULEMCo.
“These include vehicles in the existing fleet as well as some new ones that would otherwise be on the road for the next 10 years or so running on standard diesel only.
“The Council’s investment in our ‘here and now’ solution will help build significant demand for hydrogen, which in turn creates base load demand for scaled investment for infrastructure suppliers to provide more refuelling etc.”
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.
Hydrogen Hubs make sense in consolidating demand, creating scale and making hydrogen a cost-competitive solution for the decarbonisation of back-to-base fleet operations, says ULEMCo.
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 centre roll-out programme, and therefore extremely important to facilitating the rapid growth of hydrogen deployment and delivering cleaner mobility in Scottish cities.
Aberdeen City Council is targeting the assets that are hard to decarbonise 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.
The council’s co-leader, councillor Ian Yuill, said: “The conversion of vehicles within our fleet to dual-fuel hydrogen power sources is an important step in the Council’s journey to achieving our ambition to become carbon net zero by 2045.
“Hydrogen has become a valued fuel source in the city’s transport sector, with vehicles including buses, cars and refuse lorries already using it daily on our streets, showcasing our position as a world leader in bringing this technology to market.
“We are excited to develop our relationship with ULEMCo to deliver further innovations to the technology, expanding our existing resource into the largest fleet of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in the UK.”