IMAGE: FUEL CELL MOTORCYCLE
Intelligent Energy
Unveiled in London earlier this year, the ENV fuel cell motorcycle is shown here to British Chancellor Gordon Brown, center, and Member of Parliament Andy Reed, right. At left is Intelligent Energy CEO Harry Bradbury.
msnbc.com
updated 6/15/2005 10:38:01 AM ET 2005-06-15T14:38:01

A British company that unveiled a fuel cell motorcycle earlier this year has announced that it hopes to have the zero-emission vehicles for sale by 2006 at a price of $6,000. Meeting that goal would make Intelligent Energy the first company to have a production-line fuel cell vehicle of any kind on the market.

The news Tuesday came with a decision by Intelligent Energy to relocate to Los Angeles, Calif. The state has become a hub for fuel cell research, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to create a "hydrogen highway" of filling stations for fuel cell vehicles, whose only emissions are a bit of heat and water vapor.

Dubbed ENV, for emissions neutral vehicle, the motorcycle is virtually silent, has a top speed of 50 mph and can travel four hours before requiring more hydrogen.

At the heart of the motorcycle is the company's portable fuel cell stack, called the CORE.

IMAGE: FUEL CELL UNIT
Intelligent Energy
Two CORE fuel cell stacks are shown here. The portable unit fits under the ENV seat.

"The ENV offers an exhilarating glimpse of the clean-and-green lifestyle that can be achieved through fuel cell technology," Intelligent Energy CEO Harry Bradbury said in a statement announcing the plans.

"In the none-too-distant future," he predicted, "people will be able to use a bike like ENV to leave work in an urban environment, drive to the countryside, detach the CORE and attach it to another vehicle, such as a motorboat, before going on to power a log cabin with the very same fuel cell, which could then be recharged from a mini hydrogen creator the size of a shoebox."

The company said it expects the $6,000 cost to come down as production volumes increase."

The launch of ENV breaks new ground and opens up a whole new field of opportunities for low- and high-power fuel cell motorbikes," Bradbury added. "ENV and its successors will be good for the consumer and the environment. This is a fun vehicle with a realistic role to play in the recreational environment, as well as a role in emissions reduction from Boston to Bangkok."

Significant obstacles still exist for fuel cell vehicles, especially the costs of the fuel cell stacks and of producing and delivering hydrogen.

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