Conceived by Coventry University, engineered by Lotus and fuelled by hydrogen, a new zero emission hydrogen car has hit Britain’s roads.

Coventry based niche vehicle manufacturer Microcab has launched its new H2EV hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, just a week after the UK’s first public hydrogen refuelling station was opened in Swindon.

Dave Wright, Director of Strategic Development at Coventry University, said, “Microcab’s new vehicle, the hydrogen fuelling station on the University campus and the CABLED trial, are all accelerating Coventry’s presence in the low carbon and alternative energy sector.”

“These green credentials will open up international opportunities for the University to work on projects in hydrogen and fuel cell power, and will put the city at the cutting edge of developments in this exciting technology.”

The next-generation H2EV was conceived by John Jostins, Professor of Sustainable Transport Design at Coventry University, and brings together technical expertise from Microcab, Delta Motorsport and Lotus.

The vehicle is powered by 3kW fuel cell, which combines hydrogen from the pump with oxygen from the air to create electricity in a reaction known as ‘reverse electrolysis’. Unlike electric vehicles, the H2EV can be refilled with hydrogen in a matter of minutes, and offers a 100 mile drive range.

Professor Jostins, commented, “We’re thrilled to be launching our new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle into the CABLED trial here in the West Midlands. It’s our hope that the H2EV, in conjunction with the UK’s burgeoning hydrogen fuelling infrastructure, will cultivate interest in and funding for the UK’s niche vehicle sector, particularly in the field of low emissions automotive technologies where the West Midlands has excelled for years.”

“The H2EV represents a significant step in the development of hydrogen as an alternative energy source of the future for cars, and the launch of the new filling station in Swindon alongside the existing private stations at Coventry University and in Birmingham is another milestone for the low carbon industry.”

A fleet of the zero emission machines from Microcab, which is a spinout company from Coventry University, will be supplied to the West Midlands’ CABLED trial (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrator), a project set up to showcase and evaluate low carbon vehicles across the region.