Hydrogen powertrain manufacturer Viritech has appointed Phil Wild as its chief executive which the company said marks a key strategic step as the company prepares to commercialise its hydrogen powertrain technology from 2024.

In his new post Wild brings his engineering expertise and his experience in growing manufacturing, technology and materials companies.

Previous posts include managing director of 3M’s security systems division for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and CEO of AIM-listed James Cropper PLC for a decade, during which he spearheaded a ten-fold increase in the company’s market capitalisation.

The company said that Wild’s appointment, which sees him replace Timothy Lyons, the founder of Viritech as chief executive, is part of its vision to “successfully evolve from a cleantech pioneer to a globally significant technology company earning high-margin revenues from its hydrogen powertrain solutions.”

Timothy Lyons, added; “As a serial entrepreneur, I know that the skills needed to establish a new company with radical technology are not the same as those needed to take it to the next level.

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“When we appointed Phil as our associate director in March this year, we planned to promote him to CEO once we had worked together to develop Viritech’s scale-up plan – the delivery of which Phil will now oversee.

“I will continue to support Viritech as company chair, and I’m delighted that the company has an exceptional CEO who will help to make Viritech one of the world’s leading sustainable transportation technology companies.

Wild said: “I am delighted to be taking over as CEO at such an exciting time for the business. Over the last six months, I have been enormously impressed by the team, the technology, and the huge market opportunity that Viritech possesses.

“The company has quickly established itself as a technology leader in the critically important hydrogen powertrain sector, which has a vital role to play in the decarbonisation of transport.

“I’m relishing the challenge of bringing Viritech’s ground-breaking products to life, driving exciting growth and executing an innovative business model.

“The challenge of delivering cost-competitive, zero-carbon transport could hardly be greater, and I’m grateful to push the company forward in pursuit of this.”

Viritech’s powertrain combines hydrogen fuel cells with high-performance lithium-ion cells. The technology is intended to provide an additional power boost on ignition, acceleration and when driving on a gradient, as well as enabling smaller, more lightweight battery systems to reduce weight.