Boris Johnson promised a ‘Hydrogen Highway’ for London in time for the 2012 Olympics, and we hear the first 15 hydrogen fuel cell London Black Cabs have hit the roads.
Over two years ago London Mayor, Boris Johnson, promised we would have a ‘Hydrogen Highway’ in London in time for the 2012 Olympics, with a small fleet of 150 cars, 20 black cabs and 5 buses all running on Hydrogen.
He also said that London would have half a dozen hydrogen refuelling stations and, in typically ‘Boris’ style, proclaimed that Britain would become a ‘World Leader in Fuel Cell Technology’ and that one in three cars would be powered by hydrogen by 2012.
And although we took Boris’s proclamations with a pinch of salt, we were pleased to see a senior politician seeing the future as something other than plug-in BEVs.
But apart from news last Summer when London Taxis International (LTI) showed off an experimental hydrogen powered Black Cab for London, we’ve had no more news, apart from a handful of hydrogen powered buses.
So just two weeks ago we dropped Boris an email asking what was going on. We asked where the hydrogen powered Black Cabs and fleet of hydrogen powered cars had gone to. And what had happened to the six hydrogen refuelling stations. But Boris was obviously too busy to answer.
However, it seems that there is some progress on the hydrogen powered vehicle front, with news that the HyTEC project has funded a small fleet of 15 hydrogen fuel cell black cabs for London, as well as a handful of hydrogen powered Suzuki motor scooters.
It seems the project is also partly funded by the Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and apparently there is to be an Air Products hydrogen filling station built in London, which is good news.
What we don’t know is whether this refuelling station is going to be a public facility or whether it is a private one just for the cabs and the few hydrogen powered buses running on the RV1 route. Interestingly, the information we’ve had also says there are currently two hydrogen filling stations in London, but as far as we know they are closed to the public too.
Surely, if you’re going to do something as innovative as creating hydrogen filling stations in London, you’d open them to the public too to get a real interest in hydrogen fuel cell cars buzzing?
Still, it’s progress.