Suzuki-ENV Hydrogen Fuel Cell Motorcycle?
Is this the Hydrozuki Fuel Cell Cruiser?
With all the hype about hydrogen fuel cell powering vehicles, the ones that we can actually go out and buy are very few and far between. Yes, like non-existent! Although it is quite laudable that all the governors and premiers between California and British Columbia have agreed to create a "hydrogen highway" the actual value of such a "highway" is questionable if there are no vehicles on the market that run on its fuel.
In the motorcycle field there has been no shortage of prototypes and false starts. The manufacturers roll out a hand-engineered prototype at a big motorcycle show, the whole world oohs and aahs and then they wheel the bike back to the factory where it's never seen again.
Honda has developed a fuel cell bike based on one of their popular 125cc scooters. Aprilia unveiled a 3,000-watt fuel cell scooter. Piaggio's X9 scooter can hit 45 mph with a range of 75 miles. Samsung Engineering has created a scooter running on a water-based solution of sodium borohydride that produces hydrogen gas to run it for 85 miles.
But... where's the beef. I have a nice wad of cash burning a hole in my Visa card that's just waiting for one of these bikes to be available at a local dealership. But all I see when I go there is just more and more internal combustion engines.
A British company named Intelligent Energy unveiled an incredible fuel cell bike called the ENV a couple of years ago and tossed around the date of December 2006 as the on-sale date. Well, that date came and went and there is still no ENV anywhere. However, it is now been announced that Intelligent Energy's motorcycles will be produced by... wait for it... Suzuki! Now we're talking! (Or now we're cooking with "gas" if you'll pardon the pun.)
Absolutely nothing is known about the Suzuki/ENV bike. It is unknown whether it will take the form of the glorified electric bicycle that the original prototype had, or if it will be incorporated into a real Suzuki motorcycle. My money is on the first Hydrozukis being a variant on their Burgman line of scooters, but only time will tell.
The ENV as it now sits has these specs:
- Motor 6kW, 48 VDC Brush motor (model LEM-170, supplied by LMC ltd)
- Motor Controller Brusa Direct Current (model MD 206)
- Fuel Cell 1kW Intelligent Energy air-cooled (2 x AC32-48)
- Hydrogen Storage High pressure carbon composite cylinder (Luxfer L65)
- Hydrogen Energy 2.4kWeh
- Storage Battery 4 x 12V Lead Acid (15Ahr) connected in series
- Acceleration 0 – 20 mph in 4.3s (32kph)
- 0 – 30 mph in 7.3s (48 kph)
- 0 – 50 mph in 12.1s (80kph)
- Top speed 50 mph (80kph)
- (note: ENV has been tested to 50mph – however, with further refinements and redevelopments, this top speed is expected to be exceeded)
- Range At least 100 miles (160km)
- Bike mass 80 kg (Total mass including CORE)
- Hydrogen 99.9% purity
- Oxygen Taken from air
- Hydrogen refuel time less than 5 minutes
What I really want is what's shown in the mockup photo. It's a very legitimate seat of the pants guess at what a dual CORE Suzuki Boulevard would look like. The dual hydrogen fuel cell would provide enough grunt so that it could easily please the current cruiser enthusiast. Please, Suzuki! I'll be your first customer and most ardent evangelist!!!