18 Nov 21

World’s first hydrogen bicycle: carry more, further

Why build a bicycle on hydrogen? Because by taking advantage of the higher energy-to-weight ratio offered by hydrogen fuel cells, an electric cargo bike powered by hydrogen will be able to carry heavier loads over longer distances. 

Electric bicycles typically use heavier lithium batteries. For longer ranges, such a battery could weigh up to 6 kilograms, while a hydrogen tank offering a comparable range would weigh no more than 1.2 kilograms. 

The hydrogen-powered LAVO bike is the first of its kind. Designed by Studio MOM from the Netherlands together with hydrogen battery pioneer LAVO, it will be a “toolbox for emission-free mobility”, its inventors claim – easily adapted from city bike to transport bike thanks to its modular makeup.  

With a system developed by the University of New South Wales, the LAVO bike’s hydrogen battery uses solar energy to extract hydrogen from water. The hydrogen is then absorbed into hydride, a patented metal, which converts it into battery power. LAVO claims that one bike can store up to 40 kWh of hydrogen, enough to power an entire home for two days. 

Investment in hydrogen is increasing – the EU plans to spend €470 billion on green hydrogen by 2050. Not everyone is convinced that hydrogen batteries are a viable power source. Elon Musk has described them as “mind-bogglingly stupid.”

Image: LAVO

Authored by: Frank Jacobs