ENV Envy

By Rob Last edited 157 months ago
ENV Envy

Do you regularly cycle around London? If you do then part of your reason for choosing a two-wheeled method of transportation may very well have something to do with the environment.

Good for you...but don't you wish that sometimes your trusty pedal-powered steed had a little more oomph? Just a little bit of something which would stop motorists treating you as a second class citizen?

Say hello to the Emissions Neutral Vehicle, (ENV for short) a motorcycle that runs on compressed hydrogen gas...and looks very cool indeed.

As the journalist from Motoring.co.za puts it

The ENV looks like one of the speeder bikes ridden by Darth Vader's Imperial scouts in "Return of the Jedi" and its smooth power delivery makes it seem to glide rather than roll.

But here's the crucial bit: "This machine will not be pushed into the gutter by inconsiderate car drivers."

The ENV reaches speeds of 80km/h, emits a "low-intensity hum", looks like a mountain bike, rides like a motorcycle and "manoeuvres with feline agility".

We are big fans of feline agility here at Londonist.

And, of course, the whole thing works by "converting hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity. The only emission from the exhaust is a gentle flow of water vapour from twin cathode exhausts."

Expect to see hundreds of these things on the roads of London in the next five years.

And in the meantime, Londonist would just like to go on record as saying that we are very keen cyclists, and as such we feel we would make the perfect test riders for such an important technological development such as this.

Last Updated 14 April 2005

Robert John Kaper

Don't forget the emissions caused by generating the fuel for these babies: hydrogen stores energy, it doesn't generate it. Power plants (coal, oil, fission, Mr. Fusion) will still be required. Cleaner air in the cities, but over-all emission levels won't be affected much.


Overall emmisions may not be down but at least this baby ain't dependent on fossil fuels. According to my extensive research Mr Fusion will be available from 2015 unless doc brown brings us one back sooner


James, you are incorrect because hydrogen may occur naturally but to be harnessed in a fuel cell it needs to be extracted from water. We need an energy source to do this. For example a coal power station produces electricity. This is then used to produce hydrogen cells (e.g. from water). As Robert points out, the fossil fuel pollution still occurs but elsewhere in the chain.


Sure we need a carbon power source right now, but the hydrogen power source doesn't inherantly need carbon fuel - it just does in the present. I'm certain that in our lifetimes alternative renewable power sources will start to become viable. Let's face it - we're all screwed if not.

So for now we get cleaner urban air with no massive net rise in fossil fuel usage. And get to ride future-bikes. That can't be bad.

Robert John Kaper

Oh, don't get me wrong: I love these kind of electric vehicles for their reliability. I just dislike the claims that they are emission-free. They merely provide clean mobile storage of energy, but fusion power is the only serious large-scale breakthrough that could remove our dependency on fossils and fission.


I'll be sticking with my bike: cheaper and still cleaner, plus saves a fortune on gym bills - and the best way to work out aggression on dozy drivers.