Loughborough University
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Loughborough University

Making a Difference 2010 Review

Minimising our impact on the environment

Fuelling a revolution

Two vehicles, powered by fuel cell technology from Loughborough spin-out company Intelligent Energy, were revealed in 2010.

In February the company launched its zero emission Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, developed in partnership with the Suzuki Motor Corporation. Then in London, just four months later, a full performance, zero-emissions Fuel Cell Hybrid London taxi was unveiled, which was produced in partnership with Lotus Engineering, LTI Vehicles and TRW Conekt, with funding from the Technology Strategy Board.

The Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter is equipped with the latest version of Intelligent Energy’s unique and proprietary air-cooled, clean fuel cell power systems and is fuelled from a cylinder of hydrogen. Its development takes steps towards offering cleaner, more efficient motorcycles in a practical and accessible form with the potential to significantly reduce emissions around the world.

Further information

The new Fuel Cell Black Cab looks and drives like an iconic London taxi, but is powered by an Intelligent Energy hydrogen fuel cell system hybridised with lithium polymer batteries, which allows the vehicle to operate for a full day without the need for refuelling.

The cab underwent a period of road and track testing and was awarded Road Legal status early in 2011 by the UK Vehicle Certification Authority.


Capable of achieving a top speed of over 80 mph, the Fuel Cell Black Cab has a range of more than 250 miles on a full tank of hydrogen, refuels in about five minutes and produces no emissions other than water vapour.

A fleet of at least 20 of the cabs will be on the street of London in time for 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has committed to working with manufacturers to make all taxis operating in London zero tail-pipe emissions by 2020.

The Scooter has now obtained Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA), which qualifies its design as safe to use on public roads without having to be inspected and tested individually, and brings zero emission motorcycles a step closer to becoming commercially available.

The Scooter’s design has also now met with specified EU performance standards, meaning that the vehicle and its components are approved for production and sale within Europe.