Hydrogen Fuelled Taxis For a Zero Emission London

Accounting for roughly 80% of London’s airborne pollution, tackling road traffic emissions is high on the agenda for the city’s leaders. Reported as having some of the worst air quality of any capital city in Europe, London has already launched a number of initiatives to address the challenge. “Boris Bikes”, the “Low Emission Zone”, and on-going upgrades to the public transport network are all geared towards reducing London’s carbon footprint and making its air more fit to breathe.

Last Thursday (16th January), London Mayor, Boris Johnson, announced a significant new measure to further cleaning up London’s act. Targeting what he called the “Achilles heel” of the iconic Black Cab, the new initiative aims to cut out the “pollution generated by chugging diesel engines”.  The mandate stated that all new taxis will be required to be zero-emission capable by 2018 – a significant ask!

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Named “New Taxis for London”, the event was host to Intelligent Energy and its partner, The London Taxi Company, and other taxi manufacturers. Showcasing the hydrogen fuel cell powered taxi that made its debut at the 2012 Olympics, Intelligent Energy’s cab was immediately distinguishable, perfectly in keeping with the iconic “black cab” design.

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There were some criticisms surrounding the future of purely battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in London from the Green Party. They questioned the limited range of EVs, and the need to plug in at one of 1,300 electric charging points. However, for our hydrogen-fuelled cabbies during the Olympics it was business as usual.

Because the fuel cell taxi is refuelled at the pump by inserting a nozzle, much like refuelling today’s diesel cabs, drivers were able to top up in minutes (not hours) and drive for eight hours or more without having to worry about filling up. The trials have employed just two hydrogen refilling stations, but as few as 25-30 would comfortably cater for London’s entire taxi fleet.

“Having driven taxis for 40 years, this is the smoothest, quietest taxi I have ever driven… it’s absolutely fabulous”           –          Phil Davis & Ashley Blackburn The cabbies’ responses really speak for themselves, highlighting just how viable and practical a replacement they present for our zero emission future.

While 2018 may be the target, the technology is here now; ready to deliver clean and efficient fuel to London’s Black Cabs. Intelligent Energy’s fuel cell taxi boasts the range, performance and practicality of today’s cabs with the quieter travel and zero harmful emissions.