A year-long trial with fuel cell powered scooters by the Metropolitan Police has come to close, moving Loughborough based fuel cell engineering company Intelligent Energy a step closer to the deployment of its products for the automotive market.
The trial has provided valuable real-life learnings which are being fed into the development of Intelligent Energy’s next generation of Air Cooled technology systems for its commercially available 800 Series Fuel Cell Modules.
ZERE was a collaborative project led by Intelligent Energy and involved Suzuki Motor Corporation loaning the Metropolitan Police seven Burgman scooters. It was part-funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC). Suzuki GB and Cenex were also partners.
Throughout the trial real life end user data was collected providing valuable insight on drive cycle, scooter and fuel cell performance and hydrogen refuelling – all based on user demand.
A close out meeting of the ZERE project was held at Intelligent Energy’s Loughborough HQ to discuss findings with the partners. A key focus of the project for Intelligent Energy’s was to build on the productionisation of its motive Air Cooled fuel cell system. Representatives from the Metropolitan Police, the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), OLEV, Fuel Cell Systems and Innovate UK also attended. The day featured presentations from each of the three partners showcasing their findings of the programme.
Ashley Kells, EC Programme Director at Intelligent Energy, said: “It’s been great to have the opportunity to showcase Intelligent Energy’s advances in hydrogen fuel cell technology to key stakeholders and decision makers as well as potential end users. There are clear advantages to using hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in terms of both zero emissions at point of use and the refuelling times which are comparable with existing petrol and diesel vehicles. This rapid refuelling is crucial to a round the clock service such as that operated by the Metropolitan Police where battery powered vehicles are not a viable long term solution.
“In addition to providing valuable real-world usage data the trial was also important in terms of giving the project a platform to educate the support services team who maintained and serviced the vehicle in how to do this for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.”
Four of the scooters on the trial ran on an inner-city route based at Belgravia Police Station and the other three were based at the outer London location of Alperton Police Base.