Honda’s First UK Hydrogen Refuelling Station

Honda has opened the UK’s first open access station for hydrogen-powered vehicles at the company’s plant in Swindon.

The refuelling station has been built and will be operated by the industrial gases company BOC and is the result of a partnership between Honda, BOC and “Forward Swindon” – an economic development company.

The hydrogen station is now open to anyone using a hydrogen-powered vehicle. The unit is able to refuel vehicles at both 350 bar and 700 bar, the two standard hydrogen filling pressures.

The new station is a move by Honda to encourage the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles – such as the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car – and the refuelling infrastructure which is crucial to enable their “normal” usage.

In 2008, Honda was the first ever car maker to manufacture a hydrogen production car with the FCX Clarity. The vehicle was based on the company’s first generation hydrogen fuel cell car, the FCX concept, of which just 34 were produced.

But the shortage of fuelling stations for hydrogen vehicles is a big obstacle to their uptake at a mass level – hence the company’s move with a “demo” model at its Swindon manufacturing facility.

The new station could signal the start of a real step-change in the popularity of hydrogen vehicles of all types, including passenger cars.

The station marks a useful midpoint on the M4 between London and Swansea. It could eventually form part of a network of hydrogen stations across the country which would create the essential network necessary for increased uptake of hydrogen-powered transport.

Honda has been well known for developing new technologies in greener vehicles and is the main pioneer of hybrid car technology.

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