When we heard that EasyJet was planning on trialling hydrogen fuel cell technology later this year, we got all shocked and excited and carried away. Cue actual reading, and relative disappointment. The airline carrier is going to stick a hydrogen fuel cell in one of its aircraft, which will be used solely for taxiing purposes. That is, moving from the gate to the runway, and vice versa.
Though it’s not quite as exciting a development as we first imagined, the company says that hydrogen fuel cells could reduce jet fuel consumption by a not-too-shabby 4 per cent. If all of EasyJet’s aircraft featured the technology, the company could cut its energy bills by £20 million per year. Since jet fuel produces significant carbon dioxide emissions, the move would be good news for the environment too.
London’s buses have of course already made the hybrid jump, and the aim is for all 3,000 of the capital’s double-deckers to be hybrid by 2020. We may need to wait a while before we set such targets for aeroplanes. [ArsTechnica]