About the fuel cell electric London taxis

As our taxis have taken to the roads this week, we thought you’d like to know more about them.

Our taxis are fuel cell electric hybrids, using a fuel cell system (including the hydrogen storage tank) and battery pack working together to provide electricity to drive an electric motor. This is like the Toyota Prius, which uses a standard combustion engine to charge the battery system and drive the motor, except that the fuel cell has replaced the engine.

The fuel cell system fits in to the taxi without intruding into the passenger or luggage space (the fuel cell is actually where the gear box would be in a standard taxi) and this required lots of ingenuity from our engineers to fit everything into such a tight space.

The fuel cell taxi gets from 0 – 60 mph in 13 seconds. This might sounds slow, but the taxi weighs just over two tonnes (2180kg to be exact) and 13 seconds is actually about 10 seconds quicker than the 0-60 of a standard London taxi. The taxi can reach a top speed of over 80 mph, but not on public roads of course, and can cover over 250 miles with a single tank of hydrogen.

We asked Malcolm, one of our taxis drivers what he thought after driving the fuel cell electric taxi for the first time: “It’s a surprisingly smooth ride. It felt like I was gliding around, and it became comfortable to drive very quickly.”

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