Motorcycle are one of the cheaper forms of transportation in regard to fuel costs, but you’re not going to sneak up on anyone when is comes to acoustic footprint. That could all change with the advent of electric and – the real coming thing – hydrogen-powered motorcycles.
While hydrogen motorcycles haven’t been around long, the concept of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source has and it’s pretty likely it will be the vehicle technology that wins the race to replace fossil fuels. British energy company Intelligent Energy has a hydrogen fueled ENV motorcycle prototype on the bench now, and it’s almost ready to make a dent in the consumer market.
They’re not the only players in the market. Suzuki is rumored to be close in their efforts to arrive a something workable, and independent designers and garage kings are eying the problem as well.
Suzuki has decided to put the Crosscage concept motorcycle into production – and it’s hydrogen powered. It was developed in cooperation with British Intelligent Energy and it’s powered by a lightweight, air-cooled fuel-cell system and a high-performance secondary battery.
We’ve got no technical details – or pricing and availability information – but you can be sure they’re coming soon.
Intelligent Energy’s ENV prototype hardly looks like a typical motorcycle. A lack of exhaust pipes, to mention just one difference, marks the look and feel of the bike. It’s only capable of somewhere around 50 miles per hour, but it makes up for the lack of speed by being able to travel about 100 miles before a refuel.
One hurdle for hydrogen fuel proponents looms large; a near-complete lack of fueling stations, but a variety of schemes are in development to address how to create a system of hydrogen fueling stations.
Are you one of those “loud pipes save lives” types? well, Intelligent Energy is feeling you, pal, and the company is considering technology which would produce the sound of a motorcycle engine – and they want you to be able to switch it on and off depending on your circumstances.
Other companies like Aprilia (hydrogen scooters) and Honda are continuing their research and work on hydrogen vehicles as well.