This taxi is much quicker than diesel-powered versions, and from the outside it looks like any other black cab with a weight of 2.6 tonnes. It accelerates from 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in 15.5 seconds, a full seven seconds quicker than an ordinary black taxi.
The Lotus-built cab has a lithium polymer battery that delivers electricity to the electric motors, but this is not its main source of power. It also has a stack of fuel cells that convert energy from hydrogen, which is stored in a tank under the car’s bonnet, into electricity. “The fuelling is very quick,” said Dr Ashley Kells, programme manager at Intelligent Energy (company that developed the cab’s fuel cell system) in a BBC article.
This vehicle was specially designed for 2012 London Olympics. For this event, there will be a handful of hydrogen fuel cell taxis in the city, served by six hydrogen filling stations that they will share with at least five hydrogen fuel cell buses. However, Kells highlighted that this project offers “a real, tangible solution for 2020”.
By then, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson, every local taxi should be operating with zero exhaust emissions.