Ecolectro, Green Hydrogen Startup, Successfully Achieves Breakthrough Production and Efficiency Milestones

Mar 26, 2024 | Press Releases

  • New York-based Ecolectro’s breakthrough production rates of > 4A/cm2 in their transformative anion exchange materials (AEM) electrolyzers effectively unlock attractive economics for green hydrogen production.
  • The Company has demonstrated cell efficiencies of >74% at high hydrogen production rates, without using Iridium or Titanium components, enabling economic viability of electrolysis at different electricity costs.
  • Toyota Ventures has led Ecolectro’s Series A with participation from Starshot Capital, New Climate Ventures, Techstars, Energy Revolution Ventures, and several other prominent investors. Proceeds will be allocated towards scaling stacks to 100kW and 1MW by the end of 2024 and 2025 respectively.

Founded on the pioneering research conducted at Cornell University, Ecolectro has developed proprietary AEM electrolyzers designed to significantly reduce the cost of green hydrogen production. This breakthrough positions Ecolectro, and subsequently green hydrogen, as a viable and economically competitive energy source.

Ecolectro, an emerging leader in green hydrogen generation, has hit best in class performance milestones using their AEM chemistry in membrane based electrolyzers. Ecolectro has achieved peak production rates of >4A/cm2 at current densities of <2.1V and has achieved cell efficiencies of >74% with high hydrogen production rates. The Company’s current density sets a benchmark within the AEM industry and matches the best cell efficiencies of most PEM electrolysis technologies. With this technical breakthrough, Ecolectro-powered electrolyzers can provide green hydrogen at significantly lower costs. Ultimately, the company anticipates achieving further improvements with a target efficiency of an industry leading 80% or more.

The production rate and efficiency achievements have been demonstrated using Ecolectro’s proprietary hydrocarbon-based chemistry which avoids the use of any perfluoro-alkyl substances (PFAs),      iridium-based catalysts and Titanium based components in the plates and porous transport layers. These material innovations not only lead to an impressive 80% cost reduction compared to PEM-based stacks, but they also significantly lower Ecolectro’s carbon footprint and enhance the sustainability of operations, reflecting their commitment to environmentally responsible practices.

In addition to the performance milestones, the company has successfully scaled their electrolyzers from the lab-scale to the pilot-scale. They have deployed a pilot electrolyzer at a utility company and have made green hydrogen on-site for further use. “Delivering a product that meets our customer’s expectations is at the heart of what makes both our chemical innovations and our approach to electrolyzer development special – we are demonstrating our ability to achieve low cost and scale, without sacrificing performance or durability,” says Ecolectro CTO, Dr. Kristina M. Hugar.

Ecolectro Founders: CTO Kristina M. Hugar and CEO Gabriel G. Rodriguez-Calero (left to right)
Ecolectro Founders: CTO Kristina M. Hugar and CEO Gabriel G. Rodriguez-Calero (left to right)

Ecolectro recently closed a Series A round led by Toyota Ventures, with participation from Starshot Capital, New Climate Ventures, Techstars, Energy Revolution Ventures, and other leading investors. This additional funding demonstrates their commitment to Ecolectro’s mission of democratizing green hydrogen, and is a vote of confidence in the team’s proven ability to exceed technical milestones. Ecolectro’s CEO, Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero, states that “the Series A round is a strong endorsement of our strategic vision, our product, and our commitment to being the first company to profitably scale green hydrogen. This infusion of capital strengthens our ability to expand our reach and empowers us on our mission to develop an electrolyzer that sets the standard in both performance and sustainability”.

The lead investor, Toyota Ventures, with its history of fostering innovation in hydrogen, has recognized Ecolectro’s potential to transform the hydrogen sector. The investment is intended to accelerate the company’s research and development, scale up its production capabilities, and enhance its market reach. “An abundant and affordable supply of green hydrogen is critical to achieve carbon neutrality. By tackling the economics of production, we believe Ecolectro’s AEM electrolyzer technology can play an important role in scaling the green hydrogen economy,” said Lisa Coca, partner, Toyota Ventures Climate Fund. “We’re proud to lead Ecolectro’s Series A and look forward to continuing our support of the team as they work towards their mission of decarbonizing essential, hard-to-abate sectors of the economy.”

About Ecolectro

Ecolectro is an Ithaca, New York-based green hydrogen startup. Since being founded in 2015, the company has been working toward building industry leading alkaline exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyzers. This approach to hydrogen production aims to disrupt the ~12% of the world’s CO2 emissions from the standard hydrogen production process of steam-methane reforming (SMR). Ecolectro is developing a system that not only eliminates emissions but also avoids precious metals and forever chemicals (PFA/PFOA). Following the success of the pilot project with a utility, Ecolectro is actively targeting sectors critical for decarbonization with their advanced green hydrogen technology, aiming to reduce emissions in areas like power generation, transportation, and industrials. To learn more visit 

About Toyota Ventures

Toyota Ventures is a San Francisco Bay Area-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups from around the world. Founded in July 2017, its mission is to discover what’s next for Toyota by helping startups bring disruptive technologies and business models to market quickly. With more than $500 million in assets under management, the firm’s funds include the Toyota Ventures Frontier Fund focused on artificial intelligence, cloud computing, autonomy, mobility, robotics, smart cities, digital health, financial technologies and materials.,; and the Toyota Ventures Climate Fund focused on innovative solutions for carbon neutrality. For more information about Toyota Ventures and its portfolio companies, please visit

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