Universal Hydrogen Announces $ 20.5 Million Series A Funding to Build and Test Large-Scale Equipment for Commercial Hydrogen Aircraft
Universal Hydrogen Announced $ 20.5 Million Series A Funding Led By Leading Silicon Valley VC Fund Playground Global With Investor Syndicate Including Fortescue Future Industries, Coatue, Global Founders Capital, Plug Power, Airbus Ventures, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Sojitz Corporation and Future Shape.
Founded in 2020 by aviation industry veterans Paul Eremenko, John-Paul Clarke, Jason Chua and Jon Gordon, Universal Hydrogen brings together the end-to-end hydrogen value chain for aviation, both for hydrogen airplanes and for hydrogen airplanes.
This financing enables Universal Hydrogen to accelerate the development of its hydrogen logistics network and its regional aircraft conversion kits, and reinforces the company’s booming commercial activities.
Universal Hydrogen builds a fuel distribution network that connects hydrogen production directly to the aircraft using modular capsules that are transported through the existing freight network, thus avoiding the need for expensive new pipelines, facilities storage and fuel trucks.
Universal modular hydrogen capsule.
The company is also developing conversion kits to equip existing regional aircraft of 40 to 60 passengers with a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain.
Render of regional aircraft with conversion kit and fuel capsules.
The first commercial flights are scheduled for no later than 2025, with operating costs equivalent to those of conventional hydrocarbon-burning aircraft and rapidly declining thereafter.
We see the short-term decarbonization of regional aviation as a first step and a catalyst, putting the whole industry on the path to meeting the Paris Agreement emissions targets. Hydrogen is today the only viable fuel to achieve true zero emissions in commercial aviation, and our goal is to reduce the risk of the decision of Airbus, Boeing and COMAC to make their next new aircraft. in the 2030s a hydrogen plane.
—Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen
To this end, Universal Hydrogen will make hydrogen economically and universally available at airports around the world, work with regulators to develop appropriate certification and safety standards, and demonstrate passenger enthusiasm for carbon-free flights and powered by hydrogen.
Since Universal Hydrogen’s initial fundraising and its partnership with Plug Power and magniX, the team has successfully demonstrated a fuel cell powertrain and hydrogen capsules. The company has also gained interest from several airlines to serve early customers.
The current funding round will allow Universal Hydrogen to expand its engineering team, complete a 2 MW fuel cell powertrain and fully test both liquid and gaseous hydrogen capsules. The company is taking orders from additional airlines for its first years of commercial deliveries. The company is also consolidating its operational footprint at Jack Northrop Field in Hawthorne, California.