In October 2007, I had talked about the hydrogen-powered microcabs that were being developed by the University of Coventry and driven around the Birmingham area. Here is an update on what is happening with the fuel cell microcabs.
“In another first, Coventry-based hydrogen vehicle manufacturer Microcab is set to unveil its new next-generation hybrid auto, bringing together technical expertise from the automotive and motorsport industries. The auto will be introduced into the CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrators) trial, which is the UK’s largest study into long-term low autobon vehicle use.”
The University at Coventry is about to open a hydrogen fuel station. There is already one at Birmingham University.
Here are the specifications on the H2 microcabs supplied by Diana Probert who is part of the microcab project:
. meets EU hydrogen vehicle safety regulations
. gunfire resistant fuel tank
. onboard hydrogen detectors
High performance plastics and alloys are used throughout – rugged and corrosion free. Excellent design and robust engineering combine to give a tough, first class product.
The vehicle is designed to be very low maintenance. The fuel cell and electric drive are almost maintenance free and of course there is no oil to change, no radiator level to check and no spark plugs to clean!
. hydrogen fuel electric drive
. maximum speed 64kph (40mph)
. range on full hydrogen tank 80-160km
. fuel tank capacity = 630g hydrogen
. refuelling time under 4 mins
. regenerative braking
. fuel cell = 1.5kw
. weight 550kg
. tall, wide door and no sill gives easy access
use it indoors
With zero emissions and being virtually silent, the vehicles can be used both inside
So you see, the UK is rapidly moving forward, economic crisis and all with building hydrogen vehicles and refueling infrastructure. Now, if we could just get their friends across the pond to do the same we could all breathe a little easier.