Currently reading: London's 2012 hydrogen taxis
Lotus developed fleet will be on our roads by 2012

A fleet of hydrogen fuel cell powered black cabs will be on London's roads by 2012 as part of plans to make the capital's taxis tailpipe emissions free by 2020.

A prototype Fuel Cell Hybrid London taxi has been unveiled at City Hall this morning and is the work of a consortium of companies, including Lotus Engineering. London is looking to clean up its air quality, much polluted by diesel fumes from taxis and buses, and this taxi is one of its first steps in tackling the problem.

Kit Malthouse, chair of London's hydrogen partnership, said pollution from black cabs needed to be addressed.

"The black cab is a much loved London icon, but it is also a significant source of pollution, especially in the city centre.

"This prototype Fuel Cell Black Cab, which emits only water from its tailpipe, is an exciting glimpse of how hydrogen technology could soon play a pivotal role in cleaning up air quality for urban dwellers."

The prototype is capable of a top speed of 80mph, has a range of 250miles and can be recharged in five minutes.

Officials from the project believe these figures are enough to cope with the daily as well as yearly stresses put on black cabs on London's streets, but concede that further funding, convincing drivers and creating a network of refueling points were all problems that needed to be addressed.

Just under £5.5 million funding has so far come from the Technology Strategy Board, and a fleet will be on London's roads by 2012 to showcase the technology in time for the Olympics.

The capital will also have five hydrogen buses on its roads later this year.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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koyaanisqatsi 11 October 2011

Re: London's 2012 hydrogen taxi plan

MartyB59 wrote:
Straight Six Man - Water Vapour may be the most abundant green house gas but it forms part of a natural cycle and we won't upset this cycle. You need to read up a bit more. Non of the climate change folk seem to be interested in water vapour.
Generally understood, but rarely publicised is the fact that 95% of the greenhouse effect is due solely to natural water vapor. Of the remaining 5%, only 0.2% to 0.3% of the greenhouse effect (depending on whose numbers you use) is due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases from human sources. If we are in fact in a global warming crisis, even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions would have an undetectable effect on global climate. (and anyone who studies climate variations over hundreds of millions of years will tell you, we are due an iceage- most likely in 300 years time or maybe 1300 years {a heartbeat in geological time}- an iceage which will last 100,000 years) meanwhile 1.5 billion people don't have clean water to drink, a situation that could be solved for peanuts compared with the money they're planning to waste on decarbonising . still lets not let the facts get in the way of... um... (21 century logic )

MartyB59 11 June 2010

Re: London's 2012 hydrogen taxi plan

Sounds like pedantic semantics to me I'm afraid - in general parlance hybrid = combustion engine / electric and the very name implies it's something in between what we have and what we want - that is what the world needs - a polution free drive. I know all of the arguments ref how the hydrogen is produced and it's not a ZEV if the hydrogen production creates emissions.

I love cars guys - I love a big petrol engine - but they are not going to let us have them for ever. Well, we may be able to run them as classics, but for general use they are on their way out. And the same goes for petrol hybrids - because they may pollute less but they pollute. So - renewable (or nuclear - but that's another argument) power stations are the goal to give us power in the home - and possibly to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The choice for vehicles is batteries - which I hate the thought of - keeping an Iphone charged is a pain! Or fuel cells - which are just as convenient as our cars of today given the infrastructure.