The plug-in hybrid fuel cell London Taxi recently unveiled by Intelligent Energy, Lotus Engineering, LTI Vehicles and TRW Conekt (earlier post) is the latest in a set of attempts to apply fuel cell technology to London cabs. ZeTek Power Plc, which has since gone out of business, developed its first prototype London fuel cell taxi in 1998.
|ZeTek fuel cell system installed in a cab. Click to enlarge.|
The ZeTek (ZevCo) Carbodies taxi, exhibited at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, was named the “Millennium Taxi”.
A second taxi was built in 1999. A third fuel cell taxi was built in 2000 using a Metrocab body and was featured at Hannover Messe, the European Fuel Cell Forum and the Seventh Grove Fuel Cell Symposium in the UK. This vehicle is currently being refurbished.
The ZeTek fuel cell taxi had a top speed of about 70 mph (113 km/h) and a range of about 100 miles. As a comparison, the new Intelligent Energy/Lotus fuel cell cab is capable of achieving a top speed of 81 mph (130 km/h) and has a range of more than 250 miles (402 km) on a full tank of hydrogen.
ZeTek also built systems that were integrated into a fuel cell delivery van, an airport tug, a fuel-cell-powered passenger boat and fuel cells for stationary housing in the UK (Black Country Housing Association).