Hydrogen fuel-cell powered cabbies are motoring around the streets of London this week, courtesy of Intelligent Energy – the UK-based firm charged with filling London’s roads with a zero-emissions taxi fleet by 2012. Unlike a dozen other “greenwashing” programs in major cities around the world, however, London’s is ON TRACK and ON TIME.
The fuel cell/battery hybrid taxis themselves can travel about 250 miles (400 km) on a single charge/tank, and are designed to benefit from rapid-refueling technology as well. It’s also worth noting that the new powertrain fits comfortably under the shell of a conventional London taxi, allowing for existing cabs to potentially be retro-fitted with the new tech. in the future (in keeping with our recent theme promoting re-using and recycling existing vehicles).
So far, the cabs have covered over 8000 miles of driving, and Henri Winand (CEO of Intelligent Energy) is happy to see the cabs in action, adding that “the Fuel Cell Black Cabs are now road proven with thousands of miles of operation. Indeed, many people may have seen them as they have been driven around various parts of the UK, but we are now happy to formally announce their road legal status and that you will be seeing more of them in the coming months.”
Full press release, below.
LOUGHBOROUGH, UK – Intelligent Energy, the global clean power systems company, has announced that the Fuel Cell Black Cabs have taken to the roads of London for the first time since being awarded Road Legal status by the UK Vehicle Certification Authority (VCA). At an event on 22nd March 2011, one of the Intelligent Energy powered taxis travelled from Forbes House, headquarters of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the taxi’s base for the day, to some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
The project to deliver a fleet of the zero emission taxis to the streets of London in time for 2012 is on track, with the first Fuel Cell Black Cabs covering a combined total of over 8,000 miles in road and test track testing conditions. During its first tour of London’s roads, one of the Fuel Cell Black Cabs excelled in rush-hour traffic, with smooth and responsive acceleration provided by the fuel cell and electric motors.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, wants to make Britain a leader in fuel cell technology and has already announced plans to increase hydrogen refuelling stations around the capital. He said, “These prototype zero-emission taxis are a shining example of British ingenuity, combining revolutionary fuel cell technology with an iconic design classic. This marks an important milestone in my goal to create a cleaner cab fleet, firstly through introduction of the first ever age limits moving towards zero-emission vehicles as they come to market. Affordable and low polluting cabs are within our grasp and I urge manufacturers to accelerate efforts to produce them.”
The zero emission taxis have been developed by a consortium, led by Intelligent Energy, which includes Lotus Engineering, London Taxis International and TRW Conekt with part-funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board. The fuel cell and battery powered hybrid taxi provides a 250 mile driving range with rapid refuelling, all within the confines of the body of a conventional London taxi. Now that fully functional, validated, proven vehicles have been produced, the consortium plans to push ahead with the delivery of a fleet to London in time for 2012.
“The Fuel Cell Black Cabs are now road proven with thousands of miles of operation. Indeed, many people may have seen them as they have been driven around various parts of the UK, but we are now happy to formally announce their road legal status and that you will be seeing more of them in the coming months,” noted Dr. Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy. “At a time when London will soon be demonstrating its commitment to excellence in the sporting arena, we are proud to show that the UK can also deliver world-leading zero emissions, fuel cell electric vehicle technology that will make a real difference both to lowering carbon emissions and improving air quality.”
Source: Intelligent Energy.