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First Fueling Station on the UK Hydrogen Highway Opens

I’ve talked before about the emerging UK hydrogen highway and I’ve named Swindon as one of the possible locations. Well now Swindon is not only a possible location, but it is an official location as this hydrogen fueling stations has made its grand opening.

H2 Fueling Station Swindon UK
H2 Fueling Station Swindon UK

The station was built by BOC, a subsidiary of Linde which is one of the world’s largest specialty gas suppliers. The new station is on the Honda campus and offers both 350 bar (5,000 psi) and 700 bar (10,000 psi) fueling capabilities, the two most popular pressures among the major hydrogen car makers.

According to Honda, “Based on the grounds of Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon, the station aims to encourage the development of both hydrogen-powered vehicles – such as the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car – and the refuelling infrastructure to support them.
“It also creates a strategic link half way along the M4 between London and Swansea. As a fully operational, commercial-scale station using tested technology, it is a solution that can be replicated across the country and so create the essential network necessary for the widespread uptake of hydrogen-powered transport.”

This is just the beginning. At least 6 other hydrogen fueling stations are planned in Great Britain and Scotland. And my guess is that strategically there will be two or more stations build in-between these two locations, covering north to south (and vice versa) drives between the two locations. But, like the great Chinese philosopher Kung Fu Panda once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” then the hydrogen fueling station in Swindon is such a step.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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One comment

  1. Exciting. One question though, wouldn’t it be cheaper to standardize on laser metal hydrides, tanks filled with nano blades, or essentially something else? High pressure tanks, 5k and 10k PSI, is the dominant approach to carrying hydrogen right now, but clearly this is not the only option. Carrying hydrogen as a gas may be the least efficient and least effective way to contain it. If a vehicle can’t sit for a month filled with hydrogen and still be filled, that is not great. Ammonia may be a better option as there are ammonia fuel cells and ammonia is more easily contained than hydrogen, though I worry that an ammonia spill could be dangerous. It is good to hear that someone substantial is pursuing hydrogen infrastructure, I just hope pursuing what appears to be the expensive route that GB doesn’t lose interest.

    There is so much technology for carrying hydrogen and yet the only method we seem to hear about being commercialized at this point is the high pressure gas method. I realize that a 10k psi hydrogen tank is NOT a bomb, but it probably does leak slowly. This means that you can’t let your hydrogen car, truck, or SUV sit for a week or a month before you take it out.

    I wish in the U.S. if obscene amounts of money are going to be spent to, “get the economy going,” that at least some of that money would be spent on encouraging the commercialization of hydrogen based transport. With hydrogen based transport fully realized, jobs will be created and the air will be much clearer.

    One thing I’d like to see done in the U.S., I’d like to see a transcontinental Interstate Traveller style hydrogen fuel cell maglev train built. Build it along I-80 and every 200 miles or so put in a station to refuel hydrogen fuel cell cars, trucks, and SUVs. This would be a proof of concept and the hydrogen source would be as environmentally friendly as it gets.

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