Environmentally Friendly Motorcycles - Hydrogen Bikes
The future of biking may be about to change with road testing of the world's first hydrogen powered bike coming to an end and its production for the open market imminent.
The new bike named the ENV (Emissions Neutral Vehicle) motorbike is powered using hydrogen cells. The British based company, Intelligent Energy that developed the machine with designers from Seymourpowell has been working on this fuel cell technology for over 10 years. They hope that these bikes will revolutionise the biking world and show the public that not all environmentally friendly vehicles need to be boring.
The design of the motorbike may not be to everybody's tastes but you can't fault the economy of this quirky little machine. With the imminent arrival on the biking scene what are the disadvantages and advantages of a hydrogen powered bike:
Cost - This machine will cost an estimated £3000 on the market and although this may seem expensive it is certainly a lot cheaper than a new car/motorbike. Once these bikes become available on the second hand market they will be even cheaper.
Running costs - The running costs associated with the ENV are minute. It is estimated that these bikes will travel up to four hours or 100 miles on a single hydrogen cell at the overall cost of £3
Bike Insurance - The fact that these bikes will be fitted out to a road going spec will dictate that the rider must take out some form of motorbike insurance. In all probability however these bikes will benefit from cheap bike insurance with relation to the costs for bike insurance for other motorbikes.
Noise level - There is no noise, in fact the bike is so quiet you will strain to hear it in the hustle and bustle of commuting traffic.
Environment - This bike is extremely environmentally friendly and uses a sustainable power source meaning that the environment will benefit by these bikes replacing petrol run machines.
Performance - For anybody that is a biking enthusiast the performance of this machine will be a disappointment. It has a top speed of 50 mph and takes over 12 seconds to reach this speed.
Fuel range - The range of the hydrogen tank will limit the use of the ENV, which currently stands at 100 miles.
Re-fuelling - Refilling the tank will probably be done at home but the fact that there are at present no re-filling stations in the country you won't be taking the bike out of a 50 mile radius of your house unless you fancy pushing it home.
Noise level - The fact that this bikes gives off very little noise would mean that it would be hard for other road users to hear you coming. This could be dangerous and mean that you are more likely to be involved in road accidents, subsequently leading to higher bike insurance premiums.
In closing I don't think this bike will attract motorbike enthusiasts away from their petrol powered machines but to be fair I don't think this is what the ENV was designed to do. If you want to tear around the countryside at high speeds go out and buy a Yamaha R1. But if you are looking for a cheap cost effective machine with low road tax and cheap bike insurance to commute inner city then have a serious look at the ENV.