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Eco-friendly 4×4 on London’s streets

by EcoStreet on July 22, 2008

in Responsible Transport


In the run-up to last Christmas I wrote a big, green eco-xmas gift list that included a little toy car called the H-racer as a gift idea for boys of all ages. At the time I called it “a futuristic toy car containing one of the most exciting and advanced technologies of the 21st century”, and I suppose that is what it remains. But I didn’t imagine when writing that last November that just 8 months later I’d be hearing about the first zero-emissions hydrogen 4×4 taking to the streets of London. It’s still pretty futuristic because the technology is still too expensive to produce the car commercially, but as will most technologies, that should change as the demand for it grows.

The Nissan 4×4 FCV (fuel cell vehicle) challenges the view that 4-wheel drive vehicles are gas guzzlers by emitting only a few drops of water over the 300 miles that it can travel on a full tank of hydrogen.

The Environmental Transport Association’s Andrew Davis test drove the Nissan X-Trail FCV. This is what he has to say about the experience:

The first thing I noticed as I pulled into Exhibition Road, Kensington was that pedestrians did not look up to see my approach – the vehicle is near silent at urban speeds. This made me even more attentive to ensure I did not run down someone who was relying on their hearing to check for traffic. I was also very concerned that I was in control of a demonstration vehicle priced at around £1•5m. It was also ironic that I was driving what many would consider a ‘Chelsea tractor’ a stone’s throw from Chelsea itself.

Fuel Cell Cars are Here [ETA]

As the viability of hydrogen powered vehicles continues to increase (have you seen the price of petrol lately?), hydrogen stations are starting to pop up in the UK. The first opened in April 2008, with another 11 expected to be operating by 2010. Channel 4 news looked at the opening of the first hydrogen fuel station back in April.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

web design July 22, 2008 at 7:16 pm

Which is real handy going up and down the hills of London.. RIDE THE TUBE.. Jedrol Banker..


Barry Bernsten July 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

America needs to stay FOCUSED, AWARE and EDUCATED.

History reminds us that every time oil prices peak and the North American market/consumers start to discuss alternative energy sources, the oil exporting countries start to trim down their prices. History also tells us that the oil exporting nations have been very successful in the past and in fact, we have lost our enthusiasm and dropped many of our alternative energy initiatives after oil prices are reduced.

WE need to stay focused this time.

1) Al Gore and his energy initiative is on course.
2) T. Boone Pickens and his wind power initiative is on course.
3) BG Automotive Group’s mass production electric vehicle program is on
4) Richard Branson from the UK is on course.
5) The Gas Reduction Act of 2008 might not be the most environmentally sound
solution, but yet it shows that Congress has finally realized that we have an
energy crisis (again), and a real threat to our national security.

The continued dependence on foreign oil is a threat to our long term democratic values. We must become an energy independent nation, and with this, some sacrifices will have to be made by the American consumer.

Be aware!!
We are exporting approximately USD $700 Billion dollars per year of U.S. currency. The majority of this money is being transferred to the Trillion dollar “sovereign wealth funds". This is USD $700 Billion not being spent on America’s educational system, health care and security.

The “sovereign wealth funds" are directly buying major interests (large blocks of stock) in U.S. companies, including most of the major banks. Also, billions of dollars of “sovereign wealth fund" money is being invested in our hedge funds, private equity firms, and the investment banking industry. A few of these firms are directly and indirectly investing large sums of money into our “gas combustion" automobile industry. Do we want our auto industry in the direct or indirect control of the firms that are supplying us oil? This is an interesting topic for an investigative reporter.

There are automotive consulting companies in Michigan (heart of our auto industry), lobbying States and our Federal Government, NOT to subsidize the Electric Vehicle industry. The latter seems to be contradictory to what the American public would like to see from our automobile industry. After the billions (excess of $20 billion) the automotive companies have lost in the past 6 months producing gas combustion vehicles, you would think they too would change course. Changing course is not adding 2-4 miles per gallon w/Hybrids. Drastic measures in our auto industry must take place and NOW!

Do not let the temporary reduction in oil prices push us off course….AGAIN.

Read, Read, Read- Stay on top of the issues. Let’s not be fooled again.



Bird July 28, 2008 at 9:49 am

No, no, no… these monsters are dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians whatever they are fuelled by, they take up way too much space, and God forbid there is a silent one – I don’t want to end up stuck to that ugly bumper cause I didn’t see it coming…


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