European Hydrogen Roadshow
(Monday 24 September 2012)
Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota may not at first appear to have any close connection with each other, but they have all invested heavily in hydrogen fuel cell technology. Broadly speaking, this involves storing hydrogen in a vehicle and, rather than using it as a fuel for a conventional engine (as BMW has done), using it to generate electricity for the onboard motor.
To draw attention to their efforts, the four manufacturers are contributing seven Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (or FCEVs) to the European Hydrogen Road Tour, which will take place next month.
The Tour is part of a project called H2moves Scandinavia, but only one of the nine cities to be visited - Copenhagen - is in a Nordic country. Four of the remaining eight are in the UK; between October 3 and October 6, the Tour will visit Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon and London, and there will be opportunities in the first and last of these for members of the public to go for a test drive.
One aim of all this is to show that FCEVs are not some futuristic dream but an existing, and indeed well-established and long-developed, technology - Toyota, for example, intends to have such a vehicle in production by 2015. Another is to make it clear how much work needs to be done on the hydrogen refuelling and distribution infrastructures before FCEVs can become a practical everyday proposition.