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 has supplied heavy duty vehicles to the council 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.
The converted vehicles will create significant demand for the growing Hydrogen Hub in the region, supporting the local authority’s commitment to deliver a thriving hydrogen economy in the area, and creating the demand for more highly skilled jobs.
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.
‘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,’ says 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.’
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Cllr 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.’