Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lotus builds hydrogen fuel cell taxi for London 2012

hydrogen fuel taxi
The Lotus-built cab is much quicker than diesel-powered versions

The sound of squeaking plastic parts is a minor irritant as the black cab surges into a sharp corner, its body leaning heavily.

Normally, at high speed, the rattling would have been drowned out by a rumbling, whining diesel engine.

But this taxi is different.

This is the first hydrogen-powered London cab, developed to showcase zero exhaust emission vehicles during the 2012 London Olympics.

The taxi has been put together by Lotus, a UK company more famous for its Formula 1 team and for making sports cars such as the Elise.

Long-range electric motoring

From the outside, the taxi looks like any other black cab and it weighs as much too - a whopping 2.6 tonnes.

But driving it at the Lotus test track in Norfolk feels completely different as it accelerates from 0-60mph (0-100km/h) in 15.5 seconds - slow compared with most cars, but a full seven seconds quicker than an ordinary black cab.

Under the taxi's familiar exterior - within its generous bulk - the truly special bits are hidden.

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source: bbcnews