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General

Zero Emissions Fuel Cell Hybrid Taxi Unveiled at london’s City Hall

City Hall London 7th June 2010

Black Cabs Go Green. the unveiling of London’s first taxi to go Green, using hydrogen fuel cells.


I was invited to go to City Hall by Will Stanley and James Kennedy of AxiCom PR, the PR company for Intelligent Energy.

When I arrived at City Hall I parked my taxi in the under ground car park, then I was escorted by security to the main reception, from there I had to go through airport style security, before collecting my id card, I was then told to take the lift to the 9th floor, which happened to be the top floor.

When I arrived in what they call their living room I was a bit taken aback, well it was my first time i’ve been invited to one of these receptions, everyone was wearing a suit, me jeans, trainers and shirt, hanging out.

So without further ado I made my way to the tea table and while taking my first sip will came up to me and said your Steve of Legalledoff aren’t you, I thought I won’t bother asking how he new, it was so obvious.

Anyway Will then introduced  me to James Kennedy, after chatting for a while they both introduced me to Henri Winand the Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy, he took me over to the stand where the fuel cell engine was, then started to explain to me a few things about it.

I must admit I was very impressed by what he told me.


This is the hybrid fuel cell engine.

After chatting to Henri I decided to go and get another cuppa, my first one went cold.

Will then said lets go outside and have a chat, I tell you what, the view from the top of City Hall is magnificent, looking down on Tower Bridge and the surrounding area was breath taking.



After about fifteen minutes it was time for the meeting to start, so we made our way inside and sat down.

Mark James of Lotus Engineering told us that ferdinand porsche was the first to build a hybrid vehicle back in 1900

This is the first ever 4 wheel drive Hybrid vehicle. 1898 to 1906

They’ve come a long way since then.

At 10:45 we went down stairs for the unveiling of the fuel cell Hybrid London Taxi.

press release for Intelligent energy

Emitting only water vapour, the zero-emission vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity that charges advanced “fuel cell” batteries to power a clean, near-silent electric motor.

The system allows the cabs to operate for a day without refuelling which will take five minutes at one of six specialist hydrogen filling stations being planned. The taxis will have a top speed of 81mph.

The new cabs are the result of a venture between Intelligent Energy, London Taxis International and other partners.

Deputy mayor Kit Malthouse said today: “The black cab is a London icon but it is also a source of pollution. This prototype, which emits only water from its tailpipe, is a glimpse of how hydrogen technology could soon play a vital role in cleaning up air quality.”

Here are a few things you might like to know.

You will be able to buy one for 36 thousand dollars when they become available . Lets wait and see what hidden costs there are because as cab drivers we don’t always get a fair deal.

Powertrain configuration      -     Fuel cell hybrid range extender with plug-in capability

Motor Power                   -     100kW (peak)/ 55kW (continuous)

Acceleration, 0-30mph         -     4.5 seconds

Acceleration, 0-60mph         -     14 seconds

Maximum speed                 -     81mph

Range                         -     250 miles

Fuel storage                  -     Compressed hydrogen, 3.7kg @ 35MPa

Refuelling Time               -     <5 minutes

Temp range                    -     -18C to +37C

Public Carriage Office Regs   -     Compliant

CO2 Emissions                 -     0 g/km

Be lucky, Steve.

6 Responses to “Zero Emissions Fuel Cell Hybrid Taxi Unveiled at london’s City Hall”

  1. doomandgloom says:

    one very very important question-HOW MUCH?

  2. Steve says:

    Hi Doomandgloom it wasn’t priced because it’s not for sale yet but it should be by 2015.

  3. Pete M says:

    This is very good news. I saw a TV feature James May did on a Honda car in California and thought then that the London taxi was a perfect fit for this new technology. I had no idea some clever people were already making it a reality. Brilliant!

  4. Steve says:

    Pete I’ll be test driving one of them at the end of July. I’ll blog about it later.

  5. [...] looking down on Tower Bridge and the surrounding area was breath taking.  Read the full article  Click here [...]

  6. John Hansen says:

    Lotus-Intelligent Energy Fuel Cell Taxi is not the first London fuel cell powered taxi.

    First London fuel cell taxi developed in 1998.
    Second in 1999.
    Third in 2000.
    Fourth in 2010.

    The BBC and other agencies have recently reported that Intelligent Energy and Lotus are developing “the first hydrogen-powered London cab” for the 2012 Olympic Games.

    This is incorrect, as there were three (3) fuel cell powered London taxis prior to the Lotus-Intelligent Energy prototype.

    The first London taxi to be powered by fuel cells was the ZeTek (ZevCo) Carbodies taxi, exhibited at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1998.

    This vehicle was named the “Millennium Taxi” and inaugurated by Mrs. Barbara Bacon, the wife of the late Francis T. Bacon, the English engineer and inventor of the fuel cell used on the Apollo missions.

    A second taxi was built in 1999 and featured on CNN, BBC and the seven principle US news networks. It toured Europe and the US, where amongst its other engagements, it was driven in the New York Sheraton Hotel Ballroom by London’s Taxi Driver of the Year and Judd Hirsch, star of the US television show “Taxi”.

    Once back in the UK this vehicle was stolen, the theft reported to the authorities, a record made and an investigation undertaken. However, much to everyone’s surprise, it was revealed that Camden Borough Council had removed the Taxi from a private car park, towed it away and crushed it, without any notification, justification or apology.

    A third fuel cell taxi was built in 2000 using a Metrocab body and was featured at Hannover Messe, the European Fuel Cell Forum and the Seventh Grove Fuel Cell Symposium in the UK. This vehicle is currently being refurbished.

    Unfortunately, ZeTek Power Plc, the company who developed these vehicles (and other fuel cell applications), collapsed as a result of the market fallout after the September 11th, 2001 WTC tragedy.

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