How can cabs become eco-friendly?

The green fuel cell hybrid taxi that is being welcomed into London.

18th November 2010
The green fuel cell hybrid taxi that is being welcomed into London.

Asked by: Anon

It looks like any other tourist-friendly black cab, but that’s exactly the point.

This fuel cell hybrid taxi (above) has the same cabin space and styling as any other black cab. But packed into the engine bay and transmission tunnel is a full hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system. This means zero emissions where you need it most: in the city.

And it works, with better performance from the electric motor than the usual smelly diesel, plus silent running and tailpipe emissions that amount to nothing more than de-ionised water.

There’ll be 20 such carriages running around London in time for the Olympics, with plans for more if the trial is successful. Could all 22,000 black cabs be running hydrogen by 2020? The Government has stated that’s the aim.

Then all they have to do is harness all the hot air that comes from the drivers, and black cabs might be the future of sustainable urban transport.


Get more fascinating Q&As from BBC Focus magazine by following @sciencefocusQA