Friday, August 13, 2004

Red Hydrogen Buses on London's streets



Three hydrogen buses began service in a two year trial this week running from Central London to East London. Each bus costs approximately $1.35 million dollars each. This may sound a lot of money but as the hydrogen fuel cell A-Class Mercedes being trialled by Daimler-Chrysler cost one million dollars each the buses seem like a relative bargain.

Indeed as buses follow fixed routes and start and end at depots they are much better suited to using hydrogen than passenger cars at the moment. The buses will have a range of a 125 miles before refuelling.

Let's hope to see an infrastructure built for fuelling buses with hydrogen throughout the world in the next few years as an infrastructure for cars seems decades away. Also train networks should be fully electrified (many like those in England still run mainly on non-renewable diesel).

Finally it needs saying that hydrogen is NOT an energy source but an energy carrier (like electricity). In order for it to be truly clean the hydrogen needs to be generated from a renewable source like wind power or solar. Therefore we need to make a major investment in wind & solar power NOW so that when the technology is ready for hydrogen cars we will have a clean energy source to make the hydrogen.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3391507.stm

2 Comments:

Blogger Sunny Melbourne said...

In Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) a few of our buses run on cane sugar. It's a start, but I agree with you that the focus needs to be on something like solar or wind power. It's such a no-brainer. I reckon the lack of interest is more to do with the fact that you can't buy shares in the sun or wind than any real financial or practical barriers.

7:49 pm, August 13, 2004  
Blogger James said...

You're right the sun and the wind are free are therefore
that makes it hard to get a monopoly - although no doubt energy dinosaurs like Exxon Mobil will no doubt try.

However money can, and is, being made from making the equipment required to capture the free energy from the wind and sun. Most countries now have some kind of wind power association which promotes the commerical interests on wind power companies (no, they are not just doing it out of the goodness of their hearts).

For example in the U.K. it's:

http://www.bwea.com/

(for anyone who wants to do something practical to promote renewable energy I suggest finding your country's association or a local wind power company & find out how you can help out)

It's good when people make money out of wind power and solar power because it means we will get more energy that way and better technologies.

2:06 am, August 14, 2004  

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