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Mayor of London Plans for 70 New Hydrogen-Fueled Vehicles by 2010

A Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel-cell bus in London Bus livery.

The Mayor of London plans to introduce 70 new hydrogen vehicles to London by 2010 and is asking the transport industry to get ready to deliver the necessary vehicles and refueling technology.

Currently there are three hydrogen fuel-cell buses in trials in London (Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses) as part of the larger CUTE (Clean Urban Transport for Europe) project—the first volume production test for fuel-cell buses. (Earlier post.)

The CUTE fleet has logged more than 1 million kilometers in service. The Future of Clean Transportation conference, scheduled for 10 and 11 May 2006 in Hamburg, will disseminate CUTE results and learnings from various stakeholder perspectives.

The Mayor is committed to rolling out more hydrogen-fueled vehicles in the capital as part of the London Hydrogen Partnership’s London Hydrogen Transport Programme to make London a leader in clean technologies.

In support of this goal, Transport for London, the agency responsible for the city’s transport systems, has begun the procurement process for 10 new hydrogen-fueled buses. The Mayor is working with the Metropolitan Police Authority and London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, as well as Transport for London, to deliver and run the other sixty hydrogen vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel cells could offer a real alternative to diesel in the future. The high cost of the vehicles is the major barrier at the moment but the greater the demand for vehicles, the more the costs will come down. I would call on the manufacturers to gear up for this change, as hydrogen vehicles are a real and viable option for London.

—Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

The hydrogen fuel cell bus trial has been extended until the end of this year and following a successful planning application process the hydrogen refueling station at Hornchurch will continue to provide service.

The London Hydrogen Partnership is working towards a hydrogen economy for London. It is chaired by the Deputy Mayor of London, and its members include: Air Products, Association of London Government, Baxi Group, BMW, BOC, BP, Carbon Trust, DTI, Energy Saving Trust, Greater London Authority, Health and Safety Executive, Imperial College, Intelligent Energy, Johnson Matthey, London Climate Change Agency, London Development Agency, London First, Rolls-Royce, Thames Water and Transport for London.

Transport for London recently introduced into service six Wrightbus Electrocity series diesel-hybrid buses on an experimental basis. (Earlier post.)




I only have one question: What is the source for the Hydrogen?


Yeah I'm with Tony. Is this really that good an idea when the technolodgy is in its infancy, obviously not ready for production, and still sourced from oil based production processes? Wouldn't a hybrid bus or a grease bus (although very unclean smelling) be a better option for a cleaner londan?

Tony Blair

Using hydrogen even from the normal refinery process still removes the urban pollution of transportation and still has a dramatic effect on green house gas reduction.

Using hydrogen to make gasoline and then burning that gasoline in automobiles results in more pollution and greenhouse gas releases than simply utilizing that same hydrogen in a fuel cell vehicle.

So even the dirtiest form of hydrogen is still much much greener than producing gasoline and burning it in an internal combustion engine.

Or course with hydrogen, we have a choice of how we produce it. We can choose to not settle for cleaner and go for clean...the choice is ours.

Tony Fan

Well said Tony...well said.

In fact enough hydrogen is produced already today and used in the refining of gasoline to power over 100 million fuel cell vehicles.

Since we are running out of light sweet crude and only dirtier crudes remain, that means even more hydrogen will be require than before to make the same amount of gasoline.

You want hydrogen? Then just stop making gasoline and diesel.

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