London’s new fleet of five hydrogen fuel cell taxis provided by the HyTEC (Hydrogen Transport for European Cities) project have now driven 2,500 miles (approx. 4,000 km) in total, fuelled by the city’s second hydrogen fuelling station at Heathrow airport.
The first phase of the HyTEC project saw the pioneering fleet of fuel cell electric London Taxis, which were developed by the UK power technology company Intelligent Energy and The London Taxi Company, transported 40 visiting dignitaries and the VIP guests of the Greater London Authority (GLA) during the Olympic and Paralympic period. High-profile individuals included Arnold Schwarzenegger and Barbara Windsor, with some VIPs undertaking more than one journey in the fuel cell electric taxis. Members of the GLA including Mayor Boris Johnson and Deputy Mayors Kit Malthouse, Munira Mirza and Sir Edward Lister also had the opportunity to ride in the cabs.
The Heathrow Airport hydrogen fuelling station is an exciting addition to the developing London hydrogen network and will ultimately connect up with the Lea Interchange fuelling station already in operation in the city, supporting London's hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet. The vehicles and refuelling site form part of the Mayor's vision to promote innovative zero and low emission technologies in the capital to clean London's air and tackle pollution. London already has the UK's only zero-emission bus route running with a fleet of five hydrogen buses.
Taxi driver Phil Davis, with over 30 years’ experience of driving conventional London Taxis commented: “It has been a terrific experience to drive these hydrogen powered taxis. We have had nothing but compliments from our passengers and many people have expressed surprise at how smooth, quick and quiet the cabs are.”
Fuel cell electric vehicles, fuelled by hydrogen, provide the same range, performance and fuelling time as conventional internal combustion engine vehicles with the added benefit of zero emissions at the point of use.
The industry-led HyTEC project is working to understand the best methods for rolling out hydrogen transport in European cities. It is a partnership between London and Copenhagen, which have taken political decisions to be early adopters of hydrogen technology and will work together in a pan-European partnership to implement this vision.
There are 16 Members of the HyTEC consortium from five different countries in Europe:
Air Products Plc, UK http://www.airproducts.com/
Centre of excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies (CENEX), UK http://www.cenex.co.uk/
City of Copenhagen, Denmark http://www.kk.dk/
Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, Denmark http://www.hydrogenlink.net/eng/copenhagen.asp
Element Energy Ltd, UK http://www.element-energy.co.uk/
Fraunhofer, Germany http://www.fraunhofer.de/
Greater London Authority, UK http://www.london.gov.uk/
Heathrow Airport Limited, UK http://www.baa.com/
Hydrogen Link, Denmark http://www.hydrogenlink.net/eng
HyRaMP, Belgium http://www.hy-ramp.eu/
hySOLUTIONS GmbH, Germany http://www.hysolutions-hamburg.de/
Intelligent Energy Ltd, UK http://www.intelligent-energy.com/
LBST, Germany http://www.lbst.de/
London Bus Services Ltd (TfL), UK http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
LTI Limited, UK http://www.london-taxis.co.uk/
MATGAS 2000 AIE, Spain http://www.matgas.org/