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September 23, 2014 / 4:18 am EDT
 
 
 
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Transportation

Pearl Hydrogen Bike
 
Pearl Hydrogen BikeNov 2, 2008
 
 

It’s a beautiful day, you have some errands to run, but you wish you had an alternative to your boxed in car? Your answer has arrived: meet the Pearl Hydrogen Bike.

Park bike, part moped or scooter, the Pearl Hydrogen bike offers you the option of moving along by pedaling or by a fuel cell sans any emissions. When motorization is this sweet it might be hard to opt for the exercise.


First coming onto the market in 2006, the Pearl Hydrogen bicycle was designed HYPERLINK "http://www.pearlhydrogen.com/eng/index.asp" Shanghai Pearl Hydrogen Power Source Technology Company, aka Pearl Hydrogen, and is made by the Chinese bike manufacturer, CELIMO. Now in its third generation, the Pearl Hydrogen Bike is indicative of the larger push towards low-emissions transportation development growing in China in the past few years.

With no distributors in the U.S. yet, and only one in the U.K. ( Valeswood ETD Ltd, who sells the second-gen lime green bike), the Pearl Hydrogen Bike is still a newcomer to the market, but it’s been road-tested enough to be reliable.

Designed to adjust to comfortably fit most adults, it comes painted silver and now in lime-green, though you have the option to pay extra to have your Pearl Hydrogen bike customized, from bike seat to handlebars to the paint.

Unlike most motor-powered transport, the Pearl Hydrogen Bike is quiet and rated at 60dB, about the loudness of a normal conversation. Reaching top speeds of 15mph and weighing only 66lbs, it’s ultimately comfortable, useful, reliable, and eco-friendly.

The hydrogen fuel cell isn’t like a battery, either; instead of just being a container in which a charge is held, the hydrogen actually creates the power that drives the bike. You can go about 60 miles before you would need to refuel, which might be the greatest challenge with the bike: only the company itself or one of its few distributors can refill the hydrogen fuel cell for you, which takes them only about 20 minutes.

Even with the issue of access to fuel, the Pearl Hydrogen Bike could be a great option to keep in your trunk for an impromptu ride about the country side or through city streets. It’s lightweight enough to take on a commute and then be taken inside, but long-lived and speedy enough to not suffer the usual fear to put-putting out in the middle of a long trip to nowhere. And may I mention once again, there is no pollution and no chemical batteries to throw away?

For now you can purchase the bike from the manufacturer at about $4,600 USD (or 3,000 Euro) and plans are in the works for more Western distributors – including the United States -- to be available soon. Meanwhile, Pearl Hydrogen has plans for other niche transport vehicles under way, so with any luck we will have even more efficient, delightful travel options at our doors soon enough. Until then, going to the grocery, tailors, or nearest neighbor has never been easier, or more environmentally satisfying.

By Carly Dobbins

 
 
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