Published on October 17th, 2015 | by Steve Hanley
World’s first: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bicycle by Linde
German’s Linde Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial gasses and that includes hydrogen. In Europe, the company is working to take the lead in building hydrogen refueling stations for fuel cell powered cars. It already has 100 operating in Germany, where BMW and Mercedes say they are working on hydrogen cars.
Linde likes the environmental advantages of using hydrogen power and has decided to promote its commitment to clean energy by building a fuel cell bicycle that has a range of 65 miles using just 34 grams of hydrogen. The battery usually found on electric bikes is replaced by a compact fuel cell which generates electric power from hydrogen and oxygen taken from the surrounding atmosphere. The H2 Bike uses a specially developed fueling system that can refill the cylinder in less than six minutes.
According to Electric Cars Report, it took Linde engineers less than three months to develop the project from the initial idea to a functioning prototype. Under the motto “I run on hydrogen”, the Linde H2 bike proves that there is a viable alternative to conventional batteries in electric bikes, thus further increasing the appeal of what is already viewed as an environmentally friendly mode of transport. Like hydrogen powered cars, fuel cell bikes have the dual advantage of a long range and a short refueling window of just a few minutes.
“Linde is …pushing new and unconventional ideas to contribute to the widespread commercialisation of hydrogen as a clean technology,” commented Dr Wolfgang Büchele, CEO of Linde AG. “With the Linde H2 bike, we have shown that the benefits of hydrogen drives are not restricted to cars – bikes are another interesting application.”
The H2 bike, which Linde will produce as a limited prototype series, runs on sustainable hydrogen fuel obtained through the electrolysis of water using wind energy or by reforming biogas. The carbon emissions of the Linde H2 bike are lower than for a typical e=bike, whose battery is charged using power drawn from the electrical grid. If hydrogen powered cars are part of the future, Linde will be supplying the fuel that makes them go.
Photo credit: the Linde Group (Linde AG).