Talk about good timing! Just days after Honda announced that they had opened the UK’s first public hydrogen filling station in the town of Swindon, a new hydrogen fuel cell car is launched, and gosh, is it a cutie!
Named the H2EV, the micro car is being made by Coventry-based niche vehicle manufacturer Microcab. The company, which spun off from projects in Coventry University, will initially supply a fleet of the cars to the Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrator project which was set up to to showcase and evaluate low carbon vehicles across the region.
Aside from its adorable looks, the H2EV boasts a rather impressive resume. The car’s chassis was designed with help from racing industry company Delta Motorsport, while Lotus had a hand in the engineering. Meanwhile, John Jostins, managing director of Microcab and professor of sustainable transport design at Coventry University, is no stranger to innovation – he is one of the men responsible for the creation of R2D2 for the Star Wars movies in the late seventies.
The H2EV is powered by a state-of-the-art 3kW fuel cell, which combines hydrogen from the pump with oxygen from the air to create electricity (which drives the car’s electric motors) and water (the car’s only emission) in a reaction known as ‘reverse electrolysis’. Unlike a pure electric vehicle, whose only power source – a battery – can take hours to charge, the H2EV can be refilled with hydrogen in a matter of minutes, and can run for 100 miles before needing a refill.