The city of London hopes to have a fleet of zero emission fuel cell-powered taxicabs in service in time for the 2012 summer Olympic games. The first prototype, built by Lotus Engineering with a consortium of other companies, was unveiled yesterday at the city hall.

The classic black TX4 cab is outfitted with a fuel cell electric powertrain that has a range of 250 miles and top speed of 50 miles per hour. The hydrogen tank can be refilled in just five minutes but a network of hydrogen filling stations will have to be put in place to make a fleet useful in 2012. So far, the project has been funded with £5.5 million from the Technology Strategy Board but more cash will be needed to complete the original goal of an emission-free taxi fleet.

[Source: Autocar]