BUSINESS: Universal Hydrogen Secures $62 Million More In Financing For Accelerating First Test Flight Of Hydrogen Regional Aircrafts To 2022

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Universal Hydrogen Co., the company leading the fight to decarbonize aviation through the adoption of hydrogen as a universal fuel, today announced a funding round yielding $62 million in new capital. New investors in the round include Mitsubishi HC Capital, Tencent, Stratos, GE Aviation, Waltzing Matilda Aviation, Fourth Realm, Hawktail, Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures, Jeff Wilke, and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 and Sunny Ventures. The company’s prior financing round in April 2021 included Playground Global, Fortescue Future Industries, Coatue, Global Founders Capital, Plug Power, Airbus Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota Ventures, Sojitz, Future Shape, and Trucks, most of whom also participated in the current round. This brings Universal Hydrogen’s total capital raised to date to $85 million.

When every day counts in the fight against catastrophic climate change, this funding will enable Universal Hydrogen to conduct the first test flight of its hydrogen fuel cell powertrain on a 40+ passenger regional airliner in 2022 at Moses Lake, Washington. Universal Hydrogen’s modular fuel containers will supply the green hydrogen needed for the flight. These capsules allow for direct delivery of hydrogen directly from the point where it was produced to the aircraft, using existing freight networks and airport cargo handling equipment. This proprietary modular capsule technology is lighter than the current state-of-the art in hydrogen storage. It is designed from the first principles of flight and ground transport safety certification.

The company anticipates entry into commercial service in 2025 with a certified retrofit conversion kit for existing ATR 72 and De Havilland Canada Dash-8 regional airliners and a green hydrogen fuel services offering. These will offer regional operators an equivalent or better unit economics than conventional jet fuel-powered versions of the aircraft. Universal Hydrogen has secured a substantial commercial order pipeline, including previously-announced LOIs from Icelandair, Air Nostrum, Ravn Alaska, and ASL Aviation Holdings. Peter Barrett, General Partner of Playground Global, and a member on Universal Hydrogen’s Board, stated that Universal Hydrogen attracted a remarkable investor syndicate. They include key strategic and financial partners from across Europe, America, Asia and Australia. “This is a testament to the company’s pragmatic approach to the monumental–even existential–challenge of our generation and the world-class team that Universal Hydrogen has catalyzed around it.”

“While regional aviation represents a sizable market opportunity and an important early proof point in the fight against climate change, it is a small fraction of total aviation emissions,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “If we want to decarbonize the industry on the timeframe of the Paris Agreement, the world’s narrowbody airliner fleet has to become hydrogen-powered starting in the 2030s. There is no known alternative technology to get there.” To that end, the company is committed to collaborating with all key stakeholders, including airlines, lessors, airplane- and engine-makers to ensure that the next generation of narrowbody aircraft (succeeding the 737 and A320 families) are true zero emissions vehicles. Jim Adler, founder and managing director of Toyota Ventures, stated that the gravity of climate change is causing a tipping point within the green hydrogen ecosystem. “Universal Hydrogen is the distributor leader in the hydrogen ecosystem due to its innovative technology, skilled team and operational urgency. As early investors, we are proud to continue to support their efforts in any way we can.”

Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with an engineering center in Toulouse, France, and a flight test center in Moses Lake, Washington, Universal Hydrogen is rapidly growing its team in pursuit of its ambitious, world-changing goal. To learn about career opportunities, visit: https://www.hydrogen.aero/careers

About Universal Hydrogen

Universal Hydrogen is making hydrogen-powered commercial flight a near-term reality. Universal Hydrogen uses a flexible, scalable and capital-light approach for hydrogen logistics. It transports it in modular capsules using the existing freight network, from green production sites to international airports. Universal Hydrogen is developing a conversion kit that will retrofit regional aircrafts with a hydrogen electric powertrain compatible with its modular capsule technology to accelerate market adoption.

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