• Mar 29th 2011 at 9:06AM
  • 6
Fuel Cell Black Cabs hit the streets of London for the first time since being deemed road legal by the UK's Vehicle Certification Authority. The project to put a fleet of "zero emissions" taxis on the streets of London in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics is on track, says Intelligent Energy, the fuel cell provider for the Black Cabs. Boris Johnson, mayor of London, called the taxis a "shining example of British ingenuity" and that the road test:
...marks an important milestone in my goal to create a cleaner cab fleet. Affordable and low polluting cabs are within our grasp and I urge manufacturers to accelerate efforts to produce them.
The Fuel Cell Black Cab utilizes a 30 kW Intelligent Energy fuel cell that acts as a range extender for the taxi's 14-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which in turn sends juice to a 100 kW (peak), 55 kW (continuous) electric motor. The Black Cab tops out at 81 miles per hour, hits 60 mph in 14 seconds and is claimed to have a range of more than 250 miles. Here's the kicker: Intelligent Energy claims that, unlike most battery-powered taxis, the Fuel Cell Black Cab can operate all day long without recharging refueling. Hat tip to Roy!

[Source: Intelligent Energy]
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Road Legal Fuel Cell Black Cabs Make First Appearance on London's Roads

LOUGHBOROUGH, UK, 28th March 2011, Intelligent Energy, the global clean power systems company, has announced that the Fuel Cell Black Cabs have taken to the roads of London for the first time since being awarded Road Legal status by the UK Vehicle Certification Authority (VCA). At an event on 22nd March 2011, one of the Intelligent Energy powered taxis travelled from Forbes House, headquarters of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the taxi's base for the day, to some of London's most iconic landmarks.

The project to deliver a fleet of the zero emission taxis to the streets of London in time for 2012 is on track, with the first Fuel Cell Black Cabs covering a combined total of over 8,000 miles in road and test track testing conditions. During its first tour of London's roads, one of the Fuel Cell Black Cabs excelled in rush-hour traffic, with smooth and responsive acceleration provided by the fuel cell and electric motors.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, wants to make Britain a leader in fuel cell technology and has already announced plans to increase hydrogen refuelling stations around the capital. He said, "These prototype zero-emission taxis are a shining example of British ingenuity, combining revolutionary fuel cell technology with an iconic design classic. This marks an important milestone in my goal to create a cleaner cab fleet, firstly through introduction of the first ever age limits moving towards zero-emission vehicles as they come to market. Affordable and low polluting cabs are within our grasp and I urge manufacturers to accelerate efforts to produce them."

The zero emission taxis have been developed by a consortium, led by Intelligent Energy, which includes Lotus Engineering, London Taxis International and TRW Conekt with part-funding from the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board. The fuel cell and battery powered hybrid taxi provides a 250 mile driving range with rapid refuelling, all within the confines of the body of a conventional London taxi. Now that fully functional, validated, proven vehicles have been produced, the consortium plans to push ahead with the delivery of a fleet to London in time for 2012.

"The Fuel Cell Black Cabs are now road proven with thousands of miles of operation. Indeed, many people may have seen them as they have been driven around various parts of the UK, but we are now happy to formally announce their road legal status and that you will be seeing more of them in the coming months," noted Dr. Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy. "At a time when London will soon be demonstrating its commitment to excellence in the sporting arena, we are proud to show that the UK can also deliver world-leading zero emissions, fuel cell electric vehicle technology that will make a real difference both to lowering carbon emissions and improving air quality."

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said:

"Green vehicles are taking to the streets in a big way. High petrol prices and the desire to clean up our air quality make them the smart choice. The zero emissions London taxi looks and performs just like a conventional taxi, even over long distances. It's a great British innovation and I look forward to seeing them in service in London next year."

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of SMMT, said:

"The UK is at the heart of the global low carbon industry and is a leader for research and development into new technologies. Over the coming years the low carbon sector is set to become increasingly important for manufacturers and motorists. The Fuel Cell Black Cab is a terrific example of British engineering skills and pioneering innovation".

The Fuel Cell Black Cab on Westminster Bridge as it passes the Houses of Parliament

About Intelligent Energy

Intelligent Energy is a global clean power systems company, with a range of leading fuel cell and hydrogen generation technologies. The company partners with leading global companies in the transportation, oil and gas, aerospace, defence, distributed generation and portable power markets. Current partners and customers include Scottish & Southern Energy plc and The Suzuki Motor Corporation, with whom Intelligent Energy built the Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, a recent recipient of European WVTA (Whole Vehicle Type Approval) – a first for any fuel cell vehicle, which qualifies the scooter as safe to use on all EU public roads and another important commercial milestone on the path to clean, user friendly mobility for all. Other Intelligent Energy world's firsts in recent years include the development of the world's first hydrogen fuel cell motorbike and supplying the fuel cell system to Boeing which powered the world's first manned fuel cell aircraft.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is similar to what VANOC did before the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. They used hydrogen fuel cell buses in Whister. Hopefully this will receive a ton of media coverage during the London Summer Games.

      If you want to learn more about the development of fuel cell vehicles, check out our website: www.uwaft.com
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought PEMFC and even SOFC should start up to 90-100 % within 30 seconds at -20 degrees with lower limit of -30 degrees Celsius. This was a result from National Renewable Energy Laboratory back in September 2005.

      Other values for this was 1 to 6 MJ of energy and a high heating power of the order of 33 to 200 kW.

      Nice source (Auxiliary Power Unit, APU) for a little On-Board Electricity and Heat, eh?

      "This supports the DOE/FreedomCAR target of rapid startup of a fuel cell vehicle to 90% rated power soaked at –20°C in less than 30 seconds in 2010 with less than 5 mega Joules of energy."
        • 4 Years Ago
        Presumably it depends on the design. It will matter not a jot to these anyway, as they can simply run on batteries whilst the fuel cell stack warms up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      WOW sounds great! i cant wait until we get one here in Boston!

      • 4 Years Ago
      Im interrested to buy. Put the steering wheel at left, and put the car for sale for canadian cash near where i live. Then put more car like this for sale if you want. Im gonna do a test drive and start negociating the price and amenuities. Maybe wait a couple of years for the price to drop or buy a demo or a used in a couple of years. How much with a speaker under the hood, is there a usb port to alter the programmation, is there a wifi antenna to monitor the car, what about regenerative breaking, is it programmable, can we have another color, what tires to use in winter, can i test drive it in winter in a snow storm, etc. Can i rent it for a weekend and do you offer a rebate if i buy after that. How much do you offer for it if i decide to re-sell it back for another model of the same seller or another seller. Do goverment of britain, canada, greenpeace and united nations and provincial quebec offer a subsidies of any sort and accept to pay for fuel while i use it as a taxi. Do the taxi compagny receive a subsidies and transfert it to me. Does it have a govermental programm to displace co2 emissions and pay me for this study. Do some filmmaker can pay me for giving interviews about it. Can we scrap some new gasoline cars or put a new special permanent taxation sheme on petrol import displacement according on the mileage i do with it considering the provenance of the compressed and delivered hydrogen gasses proportionnal on the new purified hot water that is exhausted thru the exhaust. What about a programm goverment-private with green social-politic-technology stickers put on the car while circulating on the roads and some new subsidised green websites talking about radioactive green electricity in crowded earthquake-terrorist-war-human errors-plain wear plutonium electrical regenerative so so controlled nuclear reactors green and red electricity for rechargeable hybrid and plugguable cars and truck and airplane and big truck and ships.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are looking at putting a smaller stack in Peugeot's too:

      'The result of the partnership between Intelligent Energy and PSA is the H2Origin a practical fuel cell hybrid delivery vehicle with some dramatic performance improvements over the original battery powered version.

      The fuel cell is capable of achieving full power within two minutes at temperatures of -20ºC, and all components and subsystems are similarly specified for performance at this low temperature. The fuel cell system can also shut down in under two minutes, whereas conventional units can take as long as three hours.

      The effect of the fuel cell range extender was dramatic. The battery only Partner van is capable of a range of approximately 78 km; the H2Origin equipped with an Intelligent Energy 10 kW fuel cell system provides a range of 308 km, an increase of over three and a half times.

      Benefits of hybrid fuel cell electric vehicles over battery only vehicles:

      Greatly extended vehicle range
      Rapid refuelling
      Prolonged battery life
      Reduced battery maintenance/replacement costs

      One further benefit of a hybrid fuel cell electric approach, often overlooked, is that the lifetime of the vehicles batteries could be greatly increased if deep discharging is avoided (depending on battery type).'

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