Swindon, England – The first open-access hydrogen vehicle refuelling station has opened in the U.K., located at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Swindon. The new station is open to anyone using or developing hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The station was built and is operated by industrial gases company BOC and is the result of a partnership between Honda, BOC and economic development company Forward Swindon. It can fill vehicles at both 350 and 700 bar, the two standard filling pressures adopted by the world’s major vehicle manufacturers.
The station is intended to encourage the development of both hydrogen-powered vehicles and the refuelling infrastructure to support them. It also creates a strategic halfway point along the M4 between London and Swansea.
The innovative station can fill vehicles “back-to-back” from a bank of hydrogen cylinders. This means vehicles can be filled one after another, without having to wait for more hydrogen be generated. It also looks like a conventional filling station and the time it takes to fill a vehicle is comparable to that of conventional fuels.
“This is the first commercial-scale, open-access station in the U.K.,” said Mike Huggon, managing director of BOC. “It demonstrates that we can build the infrastructure needed to establish a hydrogen-powered transport system. But even with private and public support, as we have here in Swindon, we need government commitment to make this work across the country as a whole. We can provide the tools, but the government has to create the policy framework in which we can build the low-carbon infrastructure of tomorrow.”