On July 24, 2012 I talked about the plans during the 2012 London Olympics to ground the fuel cell buses and let the hydrogen-powered taxis run. This plan has come to fruition this week although there has been a hiccup or two.
For instance, as I had previously talked about the hydrogen fueling station in London has been shut down for security reasons during the Olympic Games. There is another H2 fueling station at Heathrow Airport that hasn’t opened yet, but is expected to before the Olympics end.
So, what are these hydrogen-powered black taxis to do right now? They are being transported by a diesel-powered truck to a city called Swindon (part of the UK Hydrogen Highway) for refueling. According to Google Maps, the city center of Swindon is 82.4 miles away from the city center of London.
If the black taxis would drive from London to Swindon for refueling, the drive back would waste much of the hydrogen fuel. Now, the fact remains there is something inherently un-green when you haul zero emission vehicles such as hydrogen cars around on diesel-powered trucks.
I have two green solutions that the Brits could be using right now. Instead of refueling in Swindon, use a mobile H2 refueling station. Companies like ITM Power (a British company), SunHydro and Air Products all have mobile refueling stations that could have been used in or around London and moved as needed for security purposes.
A second option would be to use a hydrogen-powered truck to transport the hydrogen taxis to Swindon. One or two Vision Industries Tyrano trucks would most likely fill the bill on this one.
If you’re going to promote green energy then go all the way. Isn’t this what the Olympics are about anyway – going all the way?