Masterflex AG, a processor of specialty polymers that runs a fuel-cell division, has received the first order for its fuel-cell powered electric bicycle.
The city of Herten in North Rhine-Westphalia will use a fleet of ten fuel-cell bicycles for services for tourists, such as day trips into the Ruhr area. The bicycles are planned to be in operation in time for the 2006 World Cup (9 June 9 to 9 July 2006).
The bicycles, based on the Swizzbee 50c electric bike, use a Masterflex 250-watt PEM fuel cell fueled by 45 grams of hydrogen stored in a Hera metal hydride system to power a 250-watt electric motor.
The bicycle has an electric range of up to 120 kilometers (75 miles), according to Masterflex.
Masterflex, in partnership with Hawk Bikes E&M GmbH, also has developed a fuel-cell-powered cargo bike. With a similar fuel-cell drive system as the bicycle, the cargo bike offers 90 grams of hydrogen storage and a range of up to 250 km (155 miles).