ULEMCO developing hydrogen-fueled vehicles

The Grundon system is a hydrogen-fueling system that is retrofitted onto a DAF truck. It is a dual-fuel system, allowing the truck to operate on diesel fuel when hydrogen is not available.

Hydrogen is becoming a viable alternative source for a carbon emissions-free type of vehicle fuel as earlier reported here at FreightWaves. Ultra Low Emission Mileage Company Limited (ULEMCO), a fleet solutions provider, was among attendees of the Freight in the City 2017 event in November, and presented the Grundon, a hydrogen-powered truck, Trucking TV reported.

The UK-based fleet solutions provider explained, through representative Amanda Lyne, the reason behind choosing hydrogen as fuel. “Hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel. So, the point of using hydrogen is to save [carbon dioxide] CO2 emissions.”

Lyne continued. “The technology that we’ve developed here is a hydrogen dual fuel technology. So, we displace diesel with hydrogen in the combustion engine. Every kilogram of hydrogen we use is equivalent to a gallon’s worth of diesel [that emits] CO2.”

Lyne also took pride in the fact that the truck she presented at the event is a Euro 6 truck, meaning a truck that was developed in compliance to European standards involving Low Emission Zones on the continent. 

Reduction in CO2 emissions is explained further and clearer with Lyne using diesel as a barometer in describing the fuel efficiency that comes with an ULEMCO-developed engine. “The quality emissions are managed by the diesel processes by using the hydrogen dual fuel technology [which], on average, will displace about 40% of the diesel. [It] depends on the duty cycle that the operator is using and that’s equivalent to a 40% reduction in CO2 tank to oil.”

Without revealing too much about how the hydrogen is sourced, Lyne emphasized the regulations-compliant goal of having “a decarbonized system.” She added. “In our particular technology, we are the only people in the world doing it this way. We mix hydrogen in the air inlet [to] control the amounts. We do that and then that hydrogen mixture goes into the diesel engine. [It] burns and the vehicle has exactly the same performance as the diesel vehicle.”

A contingency plan was also set in place knowing that hydrogen is a limited resource at the moment. This is where the dual fuel technology feature becomes useful. “If there’s no hydrogen available, it will operate as a diesel vehicle and there’s nothing that the operator has to do with that.”

Lyne acknowledged the demand for vehicles running on zero CO2 emissions. “What we’ve found in our experience is the reason why people will do this [shift to cleaner energy] is because their customers are asking for CO2 reduction. So actually, they win business. If you take that scenario, it doesn’t matter what you put on [your vehicle] because you win the business in the first place.”

ULEMCO has been providing range extension solutions to various vehicles used by freight forwarding companies since 2010. Hydrogen-based fuel solutions for commercial vehicles has become the ultimate calling card for this company. With carbon emissions reduced by as much as 70% compared to standard diesel vehicles with “no reduction in pay load requirements” according to its website, being environment-friendly has never been this cost-efficient.

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