The well-known black cabs of London will go green for the 2012 Olympics, using hydrogen fuel cells and batteries in a hybrid solution.
According to a source, the hybrid will be able to operate for a full day without refuelling, and can achieve speeds up to 75 mph with better acceleration than standard taxis. The cabs can top up their hydrogen tanks in minutes at central deposits.
“With the price of oil continuing to rise and CO2 emissions increasing, we need to introduce alternatives to the petrol and diesel engine. Fuel cell vehicles offer considerable well-to-wheel emissions savings, and produce no pollution at the tail-pipe. The black cab is an internationally recognised and iconic symbol of London and this partnership is an important part of making low carbon transport a practical and near-term reality. This project is central to our plans to supply zero emissions power systems to the automotive market,” says Henri Winand, Chief Executive Officer at Intelligent Energy, the hydrogen fuel cell developer involved in the project.
The hydrogen fuel cells can work at temperatures down to -20°C, and fits in the engine room of the current London Taxis International (LTI) TX4 taxi design. The fuel cell system in question has already been successfully integrated into motorbikes, delivery vehicles and aircraft – including the first manned fuel cell powered flight.
The project is a collaboration between Intelligent Energy, Lotus Engineering Ltd, London Taxis International (LTI) Ltd and TRW Conekt. It is part of the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board’s £23 million spending on 16 innovative low carbon vehicle development programmes.
Be lucky Steve.