A Motorcycle Powered By Hydrogen
By Douglas Hanna
Are you looking for a vehicle that will have your neighbors staring in disbelief? How about a motor bike that goes 100 miles on $4 worth of... hydrogen? A British company, Intelligent Energy, recently unveiled just such a vehicle.
The ENV (it stands for Energy Neutral Vehicle) is described by Intelligent Energy (IE) as “the world’s first purpose-built, fuel-cell motorbike.” It is based around IE’s CORE fuel cell, which the company says is “a fully-integrated 1kW fuel cell generator providing power on demand directly to the drive-train.”
The ENV is actually a hybrid vehicle in that it also has a battery pack that provides a 6kW peak load to the motor – to help the bike accelerate from a standing start.
IE says the ENV motor bike goes from 0 to 30 in 7.3 seconds and has a top speed of 50 mph. The company also says it is “virtually silent (with noise emissions equivalent to an everyday home computer) and its emissions are almost completely clean."
On a full tank, the ENV bike could be used continually for up to four hours without any need for re-fueling. The bike can be used by almost any rider as it has simple controls and no gears. While it is officially classified as a motorbike, those who have ridden it say "it feels more like a very quick and responsive mountain bike.”
Of course, there is a downside to a hydrogen-powered motor bike, and that is the fact that you just don't find hydrogen service stations on every corner. Or on just about any corner. However, Intelligent Energy is also working on new technology for separating hydrogen from other fuels, so you may find more places to say "fill 'er up" in the years to come.
Intelligent Energy has announced that when available later this year, that the ENV will initially sell for less than $10,000. But then, what's $10,000 when you're creating pratically clean emissions, and your neighbors are staring in envy?
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Douglas Hanna is a retired marketing executive and the author of numerous articles on HD radio, the Internet, technology and family finances.
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