Asemblon, Hydrogen Fuel Startup, Finds Ally in Schwarzenegger’s Favorite Big Rig Maker

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changes since the last time I wrote about it in April 2009. Former CEO Pat Quarles is out, and has been replaced by Michael Ramage, the company’s former vice president of strategy. In the earlier story, Quarles said the company had raised $11 million since its founding in 2005, and expected to raise another $3 million or so to pursue construction of a pilot fuel production facility in North Dakota to make 10,000 gallons a day of Hydrnol.

Today, Asemblon still says it has raised $11 million since inception, so that last increment of financing doesn’t appear to have arrived. It pulled the plug on the North Dakota plan. And the staff has been downsized from about 30 to 15 employees.

If anything, those steps make commercial reality sound further away, not closer. But Asemblon today has gained a “tighter commercial focus,” Ramage says.

That renewed focus, partially through the partnership, has pumped new life into the company, Ramage says. Asemblon is back on the fundraising trail, “pretty confident” that it will raise more money in the next two or three months, Ramage says.

Ratner, the entrepreneurial UW professor who serves as a scientific advisor to the company, says he hopes the partnership with Vision Industries is the start of something bigger for Asemblon.

“The Asemblon strategy has always been to partner with major players in the transportation and energy field. Transforming energy for this whole planet is a big bite to chew and swallow, but working with large players in trucking, automotive, aviation and energy greatly leverages what we can do. Vision is one of those partners.”

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