London Makes Plans to Turn Black Cabs Green

Converting forms of public transportation over to green technology is a great way of reducing the carbon emissions in a particular metropolitan area. To this effect, many cities around the world have invested in buses that utilize either hybrid systems or fully renewable fuel sources. London in particular has been working on hybridizing their buses, but now has turned their attention to their famous black cabs.

Last week, Intelligent Energy, a global clean power systems company, announced that several of their Fuel Cell Black Cab prototypes had begun operation on London streets. The prototypes are designed to operate with a combination of fuel cell and electric motor technology to ensure that they give off virtually zero emissions during operation. According to Intelligent Energy, the prototypes have logged nearly 8000 hours in both test track and real world conditions and performed admirably in London traffic. Intelligent Energy has also said that thanks to the specifications, the Fuel Cell Black Cabs have a range of about 250 miles and can reach a top speed of 81 miles per hour. Considering the fact that these cabs are going to be operating in a busy metropolitan area it seems unlikely that their top speed will ever need to be fully put to the test.

The Fuel Cell Black Cabs are a part of the overall plan put into place by Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, to have an entire fleet of green black cabs by 2012. It is also a part of his plan to increase the support of fuel cell technology throughout the city by installing more hydrogen refueling stations.

With London proving friendlier for hydrogen fuel cells it will be interesting to see how far the city can go in their drive to support the technology. It is possible that as long as the support infrastructure is in place to support the public transportation that private citizens will begin to adopt fuel cell vehicles as well.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Barret