Video: hydrogen-powered Alter Bike

French consortium develop H-powered urban bike

Forget better battery operated e-bikes, the future of power-assisted pedalling could be hydrogen fuel cell models, such as the Alter Bike.

This strange-looking beast's power comes from a hydrogen fuel cell system combined with a lithium ion battery. Both are governed by a complex battery management system.

Video: Are hydrogen fuel cells the future of power-assisted bikes?

The hydrogen is stored in fairly small recyclable canisters and users take as many as they need for their intended journey.

However while the idea of hydrogen fuelled riding sounds appealing, details of how far and fast the Alter bike can travel on a single canister – which have been specifically developed for the bike – are still to be announced. Those details are expected next year.  

The Alter Bike was designed by a trio of French companies led by Cycle Europe, which owns brands such as Gitane and Bianchi. It's expected to go on sale to fleet buyers in 2014 and direct to consumers in 2016, reports Gizmag.

In 2008, fuel cell fitted cargo bikes were were tested in Germany.

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