Unlike other hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, the MLE truck uses hydrogen to power the vehicle using a combustion engine rather than via fuel cells and an electric motor. The company has also converted some diesel-powered vehicles to dual diesel/hydrogen fuel.
Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo, told Transport Engineer: “Historically burning hydrogen in spark-ignition engines, you can see NOx [production] go high. Through our experience, we believe we can make it low-emissions.”
The engine will be modified to include spark ignition, but will “probably not” be fitted with emissions aftertreatment systems, which will also have the benefit of reducing cost.
It plans to have the truck, a demonstration vehicle, certified by the end of the year. It says that vehicle will be the first all-hydrogen example, will have at least 300bhp. Carrying a payload of 17kg of hydrogen, its unloaded range is expected to be just under 300 km (186 miles).
The company is supported by Innovate UK R&D funding.
UPDATED 18/4: changed title to reflect the fact that the "world's first" claim has not been verified.