• Mar 30th 2010 at 1:02PM
  • 38
Mirroring California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's dream of a "hydrogen highway," London officials have announced their plans to construct a network of hydrogen filling stations in time for the 2012 Olympic games. The H2 filling stations will service a fleet of about 150 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles-including 50 taxis, eight buses and 50 cars and vans that will be used by municipal services including Metro Police and the London Fire Brigade.

In an interview with The Times, Kit Malthouse, London's deputy mayor and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership, said:

We are in a chicken-and-egg situation: if we are going to bring in the vehicles, we need the fuel stations. We are putting them in on the basis that if you build it, they will come.

Deputy Mayor Malthouse went on to say that car manufacturers and the Government were focusing too much on battery-powered cars, which have only a limited range and are unsuitable for most families. Granted, Mr. Malthouse is only the deputy mayor but his view isn't very supportive of speculation that both eVito electric taxis and GM's Vauxhall Ampera police cars will be seeing service during the London Olympics. Both vehicles utilize battery packs as their primary power source.

London officials are also planning on equipping dozens of office buildings with hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity and heat. Thanks to Roy B. for the tip!

[Source: Times Online]


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  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      (blank stare) Yawn.

      Is it really so hard to understand: BEV and EREV + biofuel = attainable solution before our children graduate high school ?

      Hydrogen... that's nice. (Yawn.)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet more progress with hydrogen infrastructure. BEVs and FCVs are both part of the solution, filling different applications and fulfilling different needs. The FCV Black cabs are the most exciting, IMHO, having a range of around 250 miles and being refillable in just minutes.

        • 7 Months Ago
        Joeviocoe

        The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is also in full support of FCVs alongside BEVs. If you have any evidence of financial impropriety regarding either the Mayor or the deputy mayor, please publicize it. Of course, the consideration that most rational people are able to support both BEVs and FCVs as parts of a common solution, well, that's just too common-sense to be fathomable - no, they must be motivated by dastardly lucre...

        "The mayor of London wants to make Britain a leader in fuel cell technology and is planning a network of hydrogen filling stations in the capital. He intends to assemble a pilot fleet of about 150 hydrogen cars in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics, together with five buses and 20 black taxis.

        Johnson’s officials believe that by 2029 as many as one in three of the 31m cars in Britain could be fueled by hydrogen. Britain has agreed to cut its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.

        Johnson said the hydrogen network would be developed alongside government plans to introduce electric cars."

        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6806473.ece

        I'd also like to point out that Lotus is the company that will be responsible for engineering the fuel cells made by Intelligent Energy into the LTI cabs.
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Deputy Mayor Malthouse went on to say that car manufacturers and the Government were focusing too much on battery-powered cars, which have only a limited range and are unsuitable for most families"

        It's right there in the article man. I don't need to publicize it. The bias is clear.

        Do I need to remind you of how Dr. Alan Lloyd, the chairman of the California Air Resources Board (CARB)... essentially killed the Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate for Electric Cars. He then went on to become Chairman of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and a co-founder of the California Stationary Fuel Cell collaborative.

        There is vastly more money and political influence in these Fuel Cell collaborations than anything for BEVs. Why, oil companies and politicians want to keep the money flowing as it has been.

        ----------------

        Despite less political backing (and some political sabotage) for BEVs, they are coming out and selling while FCVs are still only being made as show pieces and vaporware.

        It is utter non-sense for these politicians to say that FCVs are the better bet, while most automakers are starting to produce BEVs.
        • 7 Months Ago
        "I should remind you, that they are also beginning to produce FCVs, as well."

        I meant "seriously" beginning to produce. The FCVs so far are hand built concepts that are not designed to be sold to the public... only paraded around for political leverage. Automakers can only build a few FCVs here and there but know it would be financial suicide to start volume production when the "hydrogen highway" does not exist. Automakers don't have that problem with BEVs, so they will start volume production.

        And I wouldn't call it slander to say that a politician has a conflict of interest. It happens all too often and unfortunately is not illegal.

        ----------------------

        So where are the battery partnerships in London that the mayor (or deputy mayor) is the chairman for??? Or even a part of???

        They have "chosen" hydrogen over batteries because of political and corporate pressure.

        But I don't really care, I am not a citizen of London (nor England) so my tax money won't be taken for this folly. And regardless of politicians "choosing" FCVs over BEVs, it seems that BEVs are winning anyway. Just look at what is becoming available to buy soon.

        *note: this opinion does not include FCV transportation such as buses and trucks (and cabs to a certain extent) because I agree that hydrogen can thrive without a "hydrogen highway" due to the necessity of long range and corporate owned fuel stations. To reiterate, I disagree that FCVs will become a significant part of the light-duty personal fleet.
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Somebody got a fat paycheck." -me

        "...a political official has taken a bribe..." -you

        It looks like you said it not me.

        I was referring to lobbyists who get paid bonuses when they successfully convince policymakers to use their influence for the special interest they represent. That is why I called it a "paycheck" and not a "bribe". A paycheck is something a legitimate employee gets.

        You conveniently quote mined what you wanted to believe. Yet you ignored the sentence directly preceding it... "Another conflict of interest between lobbyists and policy makers"... notice I said "LOBBYISTS".

        And that is why I followed it up with a following post:
        "It happens all too often and unfortunately is not illegal."
        A bribe would be illegal. A paycheck for a lobbyist is not.

        ---------------

        Conflicts of interests are not illegal in politics and barely even frowned upon it is so common. But your rush to defend the deputy mayor of London as if no elected official would dare ever have a conflict of interest is misguided. I hope your love for hydrogen does not blind you to your potential heroes as if they could do no wrong.

        We have no way of knowing whether or not he ASKED to be appointed to the committee or not. In politics, appointments are not exactly drawn out of a hat. I don't think he was put there as some sort of scheme either. I just think politicians are more sympathetic to hydrogen because the lobby is SO MUCH LARGER than the other alternatives such as batteries.

        ------------------------------------------------

        I will concede the second point... apparently London (the Mayor) has been doing more toward BEVs than I thought. I was, however, always referring to the "deputy" being so anti-BEV.

        "Deputy Mayor Malthouse went on to say that car manufacturers and the Government were focusing too much on battery-powered cars, which have only a limited range and are unsuitable for most families. Granted, Mr. Malthouse is only the deputy mayor..."

        I shall retract 3 out of 6 question marks for my mistake at including Mayor Boris Johnson in with Malthouse. Mayor Johnson has been very supportive... "Ultimately, he says, he wants London to be the electric car capital of Europe."

        Lets just hope Malthouse doesn't get his way.

        ---------------------------

        We are starting to quibble more about misunderstandings than I would like. I thank you for linking websites that expand my understanding in areas I am "ignorant" about. But you and I agree on many things. It is just you focus so much more on being a Hydrogen advocate rather than a BEV advocate. I suppose there are enough BEV fanboys on ABG that you feel you need to give the other side a hand.

        This particular argument seems less about the merits and limitations of our chosen technology and more about interpreting my original comment to expose malice. Lets stay on topic.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Joeviocoe

        "So where are the battery partnerships in London that the mayor (or deputy mayor) is the chairman for??? Or even a part of???"

        Are you that ignorant??? Really??? You don't even know what one of the world's leading cities is doing regarding BEVS????

        (question marks are fun...)

        The London Electric Vehicle Partnership

        http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/transport/green-transport/electric-vehicles

        http://www.london.gov.uk/electricvehicles/

        Seriously, pull your head out of your arse... Most intelligent people support both BEVs and FCVs as a combined solution.

        I support all flavors of EVs.
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Kit Malthouse, London's deputy mayor and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership,

        Say no more sir...

        Another conflict of interest between lobbyists and policy makers.

        Somebody got a fat paycheck."

        I apologize for my misinterpretation of your comment. Your mention of Mr. Malthouse, a conflict of interest for between lobbyists and policy makers, and someone getting a fat paycheck - well, it really reads like you were impugning Mr. Malthouse and the lobbyists together.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Another dog and pony show sponsored by big oil to try to get the rubes hooked on hydrogen. Fortunately for us by 2012 there will be plenty of affordable, useful evs for sale and "zero-emissions" hydrogen vehicles will still be 5 years from production.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Or is it another dog and pony show to distract people from making REAL progress toward getting off oil.

        EV, EREV, biodiesel, and ethanol can and will get us off oil.

        Hydrogen or fuel cells never will. NEVER. (Should I say it again? - N - E - V - E - R - ).
        • 7 Months Ago
        "...while most automakers are starting to produce BEVs."

        I should remind you, that they are also beginning to produce FCVs, as well.

        As for politicians sitting on boards of organizations like the London Hydrogen Partnership, well, there's a simple explanation for that. It's called a "Partnership" because you have to have members of the political and corporate worlds sharing info and ideas - that's how decisions are made. The government of London has already decided what they want to do - build hydrogen infrastructure - and so they form a committee of those who understand the project best in order to accomplish their goal.

        In my town, we have strict regulations about architectural design. The law requires the board consist of professional architects, engineers, and urban designers, while the chairperson is always a city council member. The council member is there to give the city's perspective, while the professionals know what actually can and should be done.

        It's a basis of cooperative representative government. Your other options would be to have a committee that is entirely elected officials, who have no idea what they're doing, or to have no committee at all, and therefore no control or input over what private individuals do.

        Having a London-based committee, run by someone as distinguished as a deputy mayor, seeking the best ideas and most effective solutions from the most qualified groups, seems to me to be the ideal way to get a project done.

        "The Partnership is co-ordinated by an Executive Committee meeting quarterly chaired by a representative of the Mayor of London."

        http://www.london.gov.uk/lhp/about/index.jsp

        I repeat: London has decided to create a hydrogen infrastructure, so they have assembled a Partnership (there's that word again) so that they might achieve that goal in the best manner that they may.

        I ask that you respectfully retract your slander against the Lord Mayor's representative, who is merely performing his assigned duties as a rightfully elected member of the London Assembly.
        • 7 Months Ago
        How much can I buy one of those nice hydrogen cabs for? Oh, wait, you mean they are not for sale. Wait, you won't even tell me the price? Sounds fishy to me.... like they are just show pieces in a political gambit.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Joe Viocoe

        "Somebody got a fat paycheck."

        "And I wouldn't call it slander to say that a politician has a conflict of interest."

        Stating that a political official has taken a bribe is quite different than saying they have a conflict of interest. Again, I remind you that the deputy mayor was appointed to the board as a representative of the Lord Mayor - he is there because he was told to be there, not because he is trying to promote his own point of view.

        You should be more careful in your ad hominem attacks...
        • 7 Months Ago
        Kit Malthouse, London's deputy mayor and chairman of the London Hydrogen Partnership,

        Say no more sir...

        Another conflict of interest between lobbyists and policy makers.

        Somebody got a fat paycheck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lol, okay.
      What will hydrogen cars cost in 2 years, $300k? I'm sure there will be plenty on the road.

      Yeah, you guys better hurry up on that!!
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Shockingly low..."
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Deputy Mayor Malthouse went on to say that car manufacturers and the Government were focusing too much on battery-powered cars, which have only a limited range and are unsuitable for most families."

      Wha...? "Unsuitable for MOST families"??? The deputy mayor should look at the stats before issuing public statements. Just the opposite is true, for most people, most of their driving, most of the time:

      http://bit.ly/dnQWBn

      I also am disappointed that the article fails to mention anything about how much the FCVs will cost; how much the stations will cost; who is subsidizing that infrastructure; how the hydrogen will be produced, shipped, stored; who will end up selling the hydrogen to those few consumers; and at what cost per kilometer.
        • 7 Months Ago
        From my research 100% of the vehicle fleet will never exceed 50 miles in a day. That's because my research included asking myself only.

        /Hydrogen Highway: you want it - you pay for it!!! Don't use a dime of my taxes to build it.

        Let me say that again. Not one thin dime of my taxes should go toward hydrogen research or building the infrastructure or any other thing related to hydrogen or fuel cells. Period.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Yes, I was about to say, especially with regards to the 7.5 million residents of London. I guess none of those people are families.

        However, he might be referring more to cars like the Reva G-Wiz, which is something that London has had experience with. They're not even classified as cars there however, but as quadricycles.
        • 7 Months Ago
        To be fair, those values are average daily miles, not 'greatest range' needs. From my research, about 20% of the vehicle fleet never exceeds 100 miles in a day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've never understood the militant opposition to hydrogen power from environmentalists. It's a zero emission technology isn't it? Sure, the hydrogen production isn't zero emission, but you can say the exact same thing about electricity production. I mean, how "zero" emission is a coal plant and the 150 mile of wiring required to plug it into your car anyway?

      Isn't it better to study SEVERAL solutions to car pollution rather than pigheadedly focus on just one?

      Sometimes I wonder where all this comes from and how much of it is bought and paid for by battery companies.
        • 7 Months Ago
        While H2 is technically "zero emission", it has two major strikes against it, compared to plug-ins:

        1) H2 fuel is expensive, H2 storage is extremely expensive, and H2 fuel cells are extravagantly expensive. That prices it out of the market, and makes it un-competitive. A zero emission "solution" that is unaffordable really is no solution at all.

        2) the combination of electrolysis, compression for storage, and H2 fuel cells is only 34% efficient at storing electrical energy, the combination of charger and batteries is 85% efficient, more than 3x as efficient. Even if we used one stationary battery for storage to charge the EV battery, that two stage process is still 72% efficient, still 3x more efficient than the "H2" method. That means the "hydrogen economy" would require 3x more electricity, and that leaves less renewable electricity available for other uses, such as displacing fossil fuel use.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Anything that ties us to oil companies all over again gets the thumbs-down from me.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @ montrealmustang

        That coal argument is so outdated. You are more likely to get your electricity from natural gas or nuclear. Yes, coal provides the largest SINGLE source of electricity. But coal no longer has a majority.

        And depending on the state you live in, Coal may not even be on the menu. In Florida and California, Natural Gas is dominant. Also, many utilities will provide renewable electricity from solar or wind at a small (2 cent) increase per kwh.

        --------------------

        But taking in all the inefficiencies of hydrogen and all the inefficiencies of electricity. You can crunch the numbers if you like... But you always will be able to drive more miles using less energy on electricity. After all, Fuel Cell cars are just EVs with a bunch of added conversions of energy (= losses).
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Sometimes I wonder where all this comes from and how much of it is bought and paid for by battery companies."

        I understand your frustration, but don't fall into that "bought and paid for by..." conspiracy crap.

        The battery producers and the fuel cell producers are working side-by-side, in the same government labs, in the university research programs, and in the corporate world; real engineers and scientists accept the need for parallel development of FCs and batteries, and will freely admit that the two technologies are actually mutually beneficial. Chemistries and physics learned in one often have applications in the other - just look at graphene and carbon nanotubes to see how they both benefit from parallel research.

        FCVs and BEVs will coexist; whether their drivers will be able to is a different matter. I suppose it will just be the 21st century variation on the Ford/Chevy or Foreign/Domestic rivalries, LOL.

        • 7 Months Ago
        I think the issue is that several solutions have been studied. Hydrogen fuel cells make very little sense from both an environmental and an economic (as well as a basic thermodynamic) standpoint when compared to alternatives.

        • 7 Months Ago
        Because taxpayer/customer/investor dollars, political momentum, public and policymaker attention, man-hours, and more are finite. Only so much is available to be allocated to alternative fuel with many other competing priorities. You can't pursue everything. That means that pursuing crackpot stuff like compressed air, water engines, perpetual motion, or hydrogen is directly taxing money and opportunity away from real alternatives. Year after decade of wasted time, while more junk gets thrown into the air and more trillions flow to fanatical terrorists that are actively making violent war on us. That's why it's annoying.
        • 7 Months Ago
        then you haven't been paying attention. the problem with HFC is very simple. it's only 30% efficient vs 80-90% of battery electrics. you think it's cheap to triple a country's green energy production? humm?
        add to that that it's a clumsy technology needing a lot of supporting components, one of which is a very high pressure hydrogen tank, both in the car but also in the filling stations. battery electrics don't need expensive refuelling stations everywhere.
        we don't need to transport the very problematic fuel.
        and they want to make the hydrogen from fossil fuel.
        and there is more.

        now do you understand?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why are all you guys hating on Hydrogen?

      Sign me up for unna' dem' rollin' meth lab science faire cars!!
        • 7 Months Ago
        Actual progress in hydrogen:
        I guess you did not read the article - hydrogen infrastructure being built in London, as it is in Europe, actually.
        As for the costs of fuel cells etc, I suppose if you discount all the information indicating that the price of the cells and their usage of precious metals is coming down, there is no evidence, by definition.
        • 7 Months Ago
        The Hydrogen Reality:

        http://fuelcellsworks.com/

        http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/annual_progress09.html

        Keep shilling that "hoax" conspiracy, Carney! I admire your tenacity, even though that site's been debunked countless times.
        • 7 Months Ago
        The only debunking going on is the debunking of hydrogen pipe dream. Your clinging to the belief in this is sad, like the ragged few believers in some doomsday prophet after his deadline has come and gone. Maybe you haven't noticed but hydrogen stocks rose years ago on misleading hype like what you posted, and then crashed, long before the 2008 financial crisis.

        The "progress report" you post is basically boasting about going from making a few hyper-expensive, impractical showcase vehicles to making more of them - essentially boasting about continuing to be able to fool politicians into coughing up more "research" dough for the gravy train.

        Nothing about making any ACTUAL PROGRESS on ending the need for platinum in the fuel cell stack, nothing about cutting the per vehicle cost down from hundreds of thousands, nothing about being able to make hydrogen without first expending far more energy than it eventually yields, nothing about ending hydrogen's status as the least dense substance in the universe (requiring crippling costs to liquefy or compress it), etc etc.
        • 7 Months Ago
        Fine with me, stay in the dark. FCVs are coming!


        • 7 Months Ago
        If FCVs arrive, they'll be methanol-oxygen fuel cells, not hydrogen.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it is my prediction that HFC cars will never happen. ever.
      liquid fuel cell range extenders, probably. hydrogen, no
        • 7 Months Ago
        Yeah, same here. At least in my lifetime.

        It's like somebody saying that lead-acid electric cars were gonna take the auto world by storm... in the 50's
      harlanx6
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are you sure it's not Disneyland? Another waste of taxpayer money to end up on the garbage heap of history with the Oldsmobile, Desoto and Stanley Steamer!
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