Cleaner Air for London
Drive ‘n’ Ride 2012

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Last week, we took part in the Drive ‘n’ Ride zero emission vehicle event in Strasbourg, where members of the European Parliament and their advisors were able to test drive or be a passenger in the latest generation of fuel cell electric vehicles.

Brian Simpson, MEP for the North West of England and Chair of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee kicked off the event, with the aim of demonstrating the readiness of fuel cells and hydrogen as a viable route to zero emission transport in Europe

The cars on display included our hydrogen fuel cell powered electric taxi amongst others provided by automotive manufacturers including Daimler, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai. In addition to the vehicles, guests at the event received a demonstration of the hydrogen refuelling process at Strasbourg’s first fully mobile and compact hydrogen station, clearly demonstrating what a simple, safe and speedy process this is!

This Drive ‘n’ Ride event is aimed at highlighting the remaining challenges associated with building refuelling infrastructure and reducing costs with production scale. It was particularly timely too with work underway by the national governments in Germany, the UK and Scandinavian to support the introduction fuel cell electric vehicles and refuelling stations into the market.

This event follows a successful summer for Intelligent Energy, especially as one of the lead partners of the HyTEC project (Hydrogen Transport for European Cities). We were especially delighted to talk about the project in more detail and as an opportunity to demonstrate the readiness of fuel cell electric vehicles to help bring to market in Europe, practical zero emission transport in Europe.

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Update on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric London taxis

Intelligent Energy’s very own Dennis Hayter recently met with uBrainTV to talk about the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric London taxis. Naturally we wanted to share the video clips with you, to keep you up-to-date on how the Fuel Cell Taxis programme is progressing.

In this first video Dennis is interviewed by Anne McIvor, in the back of one of the taxis. Anne and Dennis talk about the vehicles fuel cell technology and how this differs to the fuel cell technology used in other vehicles such as the Suzuki Burgman motorbike. Dennis also explains which vehicles are likely to hit the UK’s streets first and if there is an opportunity to incorporate the fuel cell technology into different vehicles and countries.

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In this second video, Dennis discusses with Mark Bradbury the evolution of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell London Taxi since inception – in particular, looking at the technology behind the vehicle. Mark, who has experienced the taxi as a passenger, mentions that it looks and feels like the iconic London back cab, but Dennis points out noticeable differences such as the lack of a tail pipe and zero polluting emissions.

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In the final video, Dennis meets with John-Marc Bunce to talk about the Hydrogen Fuel Cell London Taxi roll out following the 2012 summer Olympics and Paralympics. Dennis speaks about hydrogen refueling and the importance of moving forward with the fuel cell powered taxis, to meet the mayor’s environment strategy of ensuring that all London taxis are emission-free by 2020.


Credit: footage courtesy of United Brain Networks Ltd 

Well, that’s it. It’s all over. The Olympics and Paralympics are finished and the taxis’ time in London has come to an end. They’ve travelled over 2,500 miles and transported some famous names and very influential people. The GLA is very happy with the service we provided. The vehicles have created a real stir in the trade; lots of taxi drivers have been asking when they can buy one. Last but certainly not least, the taxis have helped to raise Intelligent Energy’s profile and have clearly further demonstrated the potential of fuel cell electric vehicles.
So all in all, it’s been a great success. But all good things must come to an end, and it’s time to say good-bye.
Before we do so, we ‘d like to thank a whole host of people. Firstly, everyone at Intelligent Energy involved in project managing, developing, testing, validating, running and promoting the taxis. There are too many of you to name individually (and this post would end up as an essay) but you know who you are, and thanks to you all. To our friends at the London Taxi Company, in particular Mark Brown and Duncan Hooper at the taxis’ temporary home at Brewery Road in London, we greatly appreciate your support. The same goes for our other HyTEC partners, particularly Air Products for the hydrogen fuelling to keep us running, and to our wider suppliers, including Lotus and TRW Conekt. And, of course, to everyone from Intelligent Energy ‘at the sharp end’ in London and those in the response team back at base looking after the taxis during the Olympic and Paralympic periods, along with our brilliant team of taxi drivers (Phil, Malcolm, Michael, Chris and Ashley), we simply could not have done it without you all!
It’s not always been easy; the hours have often been long and unsociable and we have had to overcome a few challenges along the way. But overcome them we did, and we learned a lot about the fuel-cell performance along the way. Your collective commitment, professionalism and teamwork has been an inspiration and while the project has of course been hard work, it’s also been tremendous fun.
A final thanks goes out to everyone reading this blog. We hoped you enjoyed it. We’ll continue to keep you informed about the taxis over the coming months via Twitter.
We’ll sign off with a few headlines in the style of ‘Have I got News for you’ which sums up the last few weeks…

Well, that’s it. It’s all over. The Olympics and Paralympics are finished and the taxis’ time in London has come to an end. They’ve travelled over 2,500 miles and transported some famous names and very influential people. The GLA is very happy with the service we provided. The vehicles have created a real stir in the trade; lots of taxi drivers have been asking when they can buy one. Last but certainly not least, the taxis have helped to raise Intelligent Energy’s profile and have clearly further demonstrated the potential of fuel cell electric vehicles.

So all in all, it’s been a great success. But all good things must come to an end, and it’s time to say good-bye.

Before we do so, we ‘d like to thank a whole host of people. Firstly, everyone at Intelligent Energy involved in project managing, developing, testing, validating, running and promoting the taxis. There are too many of you to name individually (and this post would end up as an essay) but you know who you are, and thanks to you all. To our friends at the London Taxi Company, in particular Mark Brown and Duncan Hooper at the taxis’ temporary home at Brewery Road in London, we greatly appreciate your support. The same goes for our other HyTEC partners, particularly Air Products for the hydrogen fuelling to keep us running, and to our wider suppliers, including Lotus and TRW Conekt. And, of course, to everyone from Intelligent Energy ‘at the sharp end’ in London and those in the response team back at base looking after the taxis during the Olympic and Paralympic periods, along with our brilliant team of taxi drivers (Phil, Malcolm, Michael, Chris and Ashley), we simply could not have done it without you all!

It’s not always been easy; the hours have often been long and unsociable and we have had to overcome a few challenges along the way. But overcome them we did, and we learned a lot about the fuel-cell performance along the way. Your collective commitment, professionalism and teamwork has been an inspiration and while the project has of course been hard work, it’s also been tremendous fun.

A final thanks goes out to everyone reading this blog. We hoped you enjoyed it. We’ll continue to keep you informed about the taxis over the coming months via Twitter.

We’ll sign off with a few headlines in the style of ‘Have I got News for you’ which sums up the last few weeks…

With the Paralympics coming to a spectacular close yesterday at London’s Olympic Stadium, there has just been enough time for our taxis to squeeze in one last job: filming with an international news channel for a forthcoming documentary! Dennis, (pictured here mid-filming outside Westminster) met and discussed the fuel cell electric taxis with a team from Euronews this morning, a multilingual news channel covering only the biggest international news items from a European perspective 24/7. Keep an eye on the Euronews website to see the taxis in action - www.euronews.com With that, the taxi’s work here in London was done, and they headed down to Heathrow for a final refuel before returning to base in North London. It’s then on to Loughborough for further engineering work and even more events to promote hydrogen fuel cell technology. Join us tomorrow for our final post and an emotional goodbye from the team!

With the Paralympics coming to a spectacular close yesterday at London’s Olympic Stadium, there has just been enough time for our taxis to squeeze in one last job: filming with an international news channel for a forthcoming documentary! Dennis, (pictured here mid-filming outside Westminster) met and discussed the fuel cell electric taxis with a team from Euronews this morning, a multilingual news channel covering only the biggest international news items from a European perspective 24/7. Keep an eye on the Euronews website to see the taxis in action - www.euronews.com

With that, the taxi’s work here in London was done, and they headed down to Heathrow for a final refuel before returning to base in North London. It’s then on to Loughborough for further engineering work and even more events to promote hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Join us tomorrow for our final post and an emotional goodbye from the team!

'ello, 'ello, 'ello. What have we got here then?

Our fuel-cell electric London Taxi attracted the attention of the Police this week, but for all the right reasons!

Robert, a City of London policeman came to check us out while we were parked up in the City. There were smiles all round when he recognised our head driver, Phil, from the Magical Taxi Tour (the charity which takes children with life-threatening illnesses to Disneyland Paris each year) as Robert and his colleagues form part of the outrider group that protects the convoy of almost 200 cabs en-route to Paris.

Being a cab enthusiast, and holder of a Green Badge (meaning he is able to drive taxis), Robert was keen to know more about our fuel-cell electric London Taxi, and of course, we were delighted to assist!

Our team of fuel cell electric taxi drivers have been continuing to ferry VIP guests around London during the Paralympic period. 
Over the past couple of weeks we’ve enjoyed the company of Sarah Sands, editor of the London Evening Standard, who was joined by Evgeny Lebedev – a regular name on the Cleaner Air for London blog having travelled in the taxis three times now! On Monday we drove Luca Lytton (pictured, right, having a look under the taxi’s bonnet with Dennis and team) head of Electric Vehicle and Environmental Research at the RAC Foundation, who was keen to find out more about the Intelligent Energy fuel cell technology.

We’ve also had some important figures from the world of politics in the back of our cabs, including Jenny Jones, Leader of the Green Party; Sir Edward Lister, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor, Policy and Planning at the Greater London Authority; and on Friday we welcomed Dominic Raab, MP for Walton and Esher, who visited the hydrogen station at Heathrow to see how it all works.

It’s been a great Paralympics, delivering on the promise to be the biggest and best in history. Intelligent Energy, The London Taxi Company and the other members of the HyTEC project consortium are very proud to have been a part of it. We’ll be back with more news tomorrow, so stay tuned. 

Our team of fuel cell electric taxi drivers have been continuing to ferry VIP guests around London during the Paralympic period.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve enjoyed the company of Sarah Sands, editor of the London Evening Standard, who was joined by Evgeny Lebedev – a regular name on the Cleaner Air for London blog having travelled in the taxis three times now! On Monday we drove Luca Lytton (pictured, right, having a look under the taxi’s bonnet with Dennis and team) head of Electric Vehicle and Environmental Research at the RAC Foundation, who was keen to find out more about the Intelligent Energy fuel cell technology.

We’ve also had some important figures from the world of politics in the back of our cabs, including Jenny Jones, Leader of the Green Party; Sir Edward Lister, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor, Policy and Planning at the Greater London Authority; and on Friday we welcomed Dominic Raab, MP for Walton and Esher, who visited the hydrogen station at Heathrow to see how it all works.

It’s been a great Paralympics, delivering on the promise to be the biggest and best in history. Intelligent Energy, The London Taxi Company and the other members of the HyTEC project consortium are very proud to have been a part of it. We’ll be back with more news tomorrow, so stay tuned. 

Last but not least, we catch up with Malcolm Linskey, our fifth and final driver to be featured on Cleaner Air for London. 
Malcolm is one of the trade’s elder statesmen, having started his career as a cabbie 42 years ago. He lists none other than leading American film and television actor, Rock Hudson, as his most famous passenger!

In addition to cab driving, Malcolm owns and manages Knowledge Point, a taxi driver training school based in Islington. He’s also an active member of the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (Past Master 2000) and a member of the Magical Taxi Tour Committee.

Malcolm estimates that he drives roughly 10,000 miles a year, so for him it was important to be involved in the fuel cell electric taxi project because he wants to be part of an initiative that contributes towards cleaner air for all of us to breathe. 

He explained, “It’s been an amazing experience for me. I’ve been in the cab trade most of my working life, working with diesels all of the time. To have a vehicle that’s so clean; I can see that for the next generation of cab drivers, it’s going to be fantastic. The fuel cell electric taxis are also very comfortable to drive!”

Last but not least, we catch up with Malcolm Linskey, our fifth and final driver to be featured on Cleaner Air for London.

Malcolm is one of the trade’s elder statesmen, having started his career as a cabbie 42 years ago. He lists none other than leading American film and television actor, Rock Hudson, as his most famous passenger!

In addition to cab driving, Malcolm owns and manages Knowledge Point, a taxi driver training school based in Islington. He’s also an active member of the Worshipful Company of Hackney Carriage Drivers (Past Master 2000) and a member of the Magical Taxi Tour Committee.

Malcolm estimates that he drives roughly 10,000 miles a year, so for him it was important to be involved in the fuel cell electric taxi project because he wants to be part of an initiative that contributes towards cleaner air for all of us to breathe. 

He explained, “It’s been an amazing experience for me. I’ve been in the cab trade most of my working life, working with diesels all of the time. To have a vehicle that’s so clean; I can see that for the next generation of cab drivers, it’s going to be fantastic. The fuel cell electric taxis are also very comfortable to drive!”

One of our fuel cell electric taxis took time out from its Paralympics schedule to head up to LCV2012, the UK’s largest low carbon vehicle event, which returned to the Millbrook Proving Ground this week. Over 2,500 delegates attended the two day event in Bedfordshire, with the Intelligent Energy team joining more than 110 other exhibitors, including the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, McLaren and General Motors.
LCV2012 was opened by Michael Fallon (pictured here talking to our VP Business Development, Dennis Hayter), the new Minister for Business, who then enjoyed a zero emission taxi journey back to the station so he could catch his train back to London. The minister was also treated to a refuelling demonstration at the new Air Products fuel station based at Millbrook.  
The event featured an extensive conference and technical seminar programme running in parallel, with Dennis taking the stand himself on Thursday to present on the introduction of the fuel cell electric taxi fleet to London and provide insight into the initial operational results.
As ever, it was a great event and a terrific showcase for the capabilities of UK low carbon technology providers. We’re already looking forward to LCV2013!

One of our fuel cell electric taxis took time out from its Paralympics schedule to head up to LCV2012, the UK’s largest low carbon vehicle event, which returned to the Millbrook Proving Ground this week. Over 2,500 delegates attended the two day event in Bedfordshire, with the Intelligent Energy team joining more than 110 other exhibitors, including the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, McLaren and General Motors.

LCV2012 was opened by Michael Fallon (pictured here talking to our VP Business Development, Dennis Hayter), the new Minister for Business, who then enjoyed a zero emission taxi journey back to the station so he could catch his train back to London. The minister was also treated to a refuelling demonstration at the new Air Products fuel station based at Millbrook.  

The event featured an extensive conference and technical seminar programme running in parallel, with Dennis taking the stand himself on Thursday to present on the introduction of the fuel cell electric taxi fleet to London and provide insight into the initial operational results.

As ever, it was a great event and a terrific showcase for the capabilities of UK low carbon technology providers. We’re already looking forward to LCV2013!

Our friends at the California Fuel Cell Partnership have been in touch to let us know about an exciting new initiative to get industry, academia, NGO’s and Government agencies thinking about one of the greatest barriers to adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles: refuelling infrastructure. 
Chris White of the California Fuel Cell Partnership writes, “Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are poised to enter the California market as early as 2015 as an integral part of many automakers’ electric-drive portfolios. But, the biggest obstacle to introducing fuel cell electric vehicles is the lack of fueling stations.
The first FCEV purchasers must be confident that sufficient hydrogen fueling is available whether it’s near their home, work or favorite destination. And as the number of vehicles increases, the station network must grow to keep up with the demand. How do we get there and what do we need to guide the development of the fueling network? 
Recognizing the need for building consensus, the California Fuel Cell Partnership brought together our 30+ members - representing industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and government agencies - to discuss, contribute and write A California Road Map. Using research and modeling tools, this collaborative effort created a strategy to guide the placement of hydrogen fueling stations. With enough stations in the right places, automakers can launch the early commercial market, paving the way for tens of thousands of fuel cell electric vehicles.”
You can see the proposed road map now at A California Road Map: The Commercialization of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Our friends at the California Fuel Cell Partnership have been in touch to let us know about an exciting new initiative to get industry, academia, NGO’s and Government agencies thinking about one of the greatest barriers to adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles: refuelling infrastructure.

Chris White of the California Fuel Cell Partnership writes, “Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are poised to enter the California market as early as 2015 as an integral part of many automakers’ electric-drive portfolios. But, the biggest obstacle to introducing fuel cell electric vehicles is the lack of fueling stations.

The first FCEV purchasers must be confident that sufficient hydrogen fueling is available whether it’s near their home, work or favorite destination. And as the number of vehicles increases, the station network must grow to keep up with the demand. How do we get there and what do we need to guide the development of the fueling network? 

Recognizing the need for building consensus, the California Fuel Cell Partnership brought together our 30+ members - representing industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and government agencies - to discuss, contribute and write A California Road Map. Using research and modeling tools, this collaborative effort created a strategy to guide the placement of hydrogen fueling stations. With enough stations in the right places, automakers can launch the early commercial market, paving the way for tens of thousands of fuel cell electric vehicles.”

You can see the proposed road map now at A California Road Map: The Commercialization of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

This morning, we bring you a wonderful ‘Look at Life’ video clip from The Rank Organisation, showing what life used to be like as a London taxi driver. The clip, dated 1960, gives us footage of how hackney cabs were made and shows cabbies learning their trade http://youtu.be/nX9pHzj2Uy4