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Black Cabs of London Refuel with Hydrogen in Swindon

London H2 Black Taxi
London Mayor Boris Johnson gets out of an H2 fuel cell black taxi

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?

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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6 comments

  1. Or more to the point, why didn’t the organisers secure an ITM Power mobile on-site H2 generating HFuel unit well in advance. At a location that was both local and secure?

    Maybe Mitt Romney was right after all…..The UK certainly wasn’t ready for the Olympics as far as Hydrogen was concerned. What a wasted showcase opportunity. I sometime despair to call myself British. What an embarrassment.

  2. Totally agree with you HydroKev and with Connos comments

    Hydrogen isnt a clean fuel source if there are any fossil fuels involved in the process.

    For totally clean hydrogen, you need to generate on site, which is what i believe ITM Power do http://www.itm-power.com

    They are a British company, why didnt the organisers of this shambles involve them when issues arised?

    That way the whole hydrogen scene at the olympics could have been promoted FAR better, and again as above- what a wasted opportunity!!!

  3. Why would people who want to disrupt the Olympics only target hydrogen?
    Close all the petrol stations at once.

  4. It’s a shame that the Olympics being a window to the world, not take the necessary provisions to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen in real terms for use as a viable fuel and environmentally friendly.

    Opportunities as well, should be used to add credibility to projects that are promising to have a brighter future in terms of new sources of clean energy.

    There are still a few days to correct and amend. If not, who know the full potential today England has in these hydrogen technologies applied to urban transport, we will feel very disappointed by decisions outside the truth.

  5. “On Thursday 2nd August Air Products announced the opening of its newest hydrogen station located at Heathrow Airport.” – Fuel Cell Today – 8/3/12

    http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/news-events/news-archive/2012/august/air-products-opens-hydrogen-station-at-heathrow-airport

  6. admin

    That’s great news! Happy to hear they were able to open the new hydrogen station so quickly.

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