The world’s first emission-free, hydrogen driven street cleaning vehicle will be cleaning the street of Basel Switzerland and other Swiss cities for the next six to 18 months. The city of Basel is currently testing the new road sweeper, which is powered by fuel cell technology, emits no exhaust fume pollutants.
This would mean cleaner air for city dwellers since the vehicle emits no pollutants from its exhaust – just water vapour produced by the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell.
The new road sweeper called The Bucher CityCat H2 which has been developed by Swiss scientists and is the brainchild of researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (Empa), near Zurich and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen.
It is being created with the help of several Swiss and German companies.
Fuel cells are considered to be clean energy sources. They convert hydrogen directly into electricity, which is then used to drive the vehicle’s electric motors.
Many European cities are planning or already have environmental zones. In the British capital London all conventional combustion engines have to pay a fee – the so-called congestion charge – for entering these zones.
© Flavia Westerwelle