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New Motor Bike Powered by Alternative Fuel Technology

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles Topics:  ENV

New Motor Bike Powered by Alternative Fuel Technology

Adam Hepburn
July 14, 2005

High global prices for gasoline are raising interest in more affordable fuel sources. Now, a new motorcycle is under development. The bike's appeal lies in its alternative fuel technology.

Duration: 1:38
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Most motorcycles get good mileage from a gallon of gasoline, making them a relatively cheap mode of transportation. But this high-tech bike isn't powered by gasoline at all.

Creator Harry Bradbury says it's the first motorcycle designed with a non-polluting hydrogen fuel cell. "Fuel cells work from hydrogen and it is a solid state device -- no moving parts, which converts hydrogen to electricity, so that is where power comes from."

It's called the ENV, or "Envy," and it is the product of lots of engineering and innovation. The motorbike reaches speeds of 80 kilometers per hour. The hydrogen fuel cell power unit even detaches and can be used to power a campsite or boat.

But, where do you get hydrogen to fuel the bike? Right now you need to locate a hydrogen fueling station. Someday you may be able to make it at home. Mr. Bradbury says, "We have devices that are called magic boxes or fuel reformers that produce hydrogen from a wide range of sources."

The motorcycle still needs to clear some regulatory hurdles, but bike enthusiasts are excited. Evans Bradfield, a Moto Journalist says, "I think it is pretty impressive for what it is designed to do. An around town, commuter type of bike."

The makers of the ENV say it could be in showrooms early next year. The environmentally friendly bike is expected to cost as little as $6,000. And if gas prices and pollution remain high, the ENV could make other bike and car owners quite envious.

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