In the same week that the government pledged £8.8m to improve infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles, Shell has unveiled a hydrogen refuelling station which will be the first in the UK to stand next to petrol and diesel pumps.
Located at Shell Beaconsfield, one of the busiest service stations in the UK, the move could represent a significant step forward for hydrogen-powered cars. The UK’s first hydrogen pump was installed at Shell Cobham in February 2017.
As well as the obvious environmental benefits, hydrogen has been touted as a safer alternative to petrol or diesel. The hydrogen is generated on-site using an electrolyser that requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas.
Shell’s hydrogen business development manager Mike Copson said: ‘We’re delighted to be opening a new refuelling site at Shell Beaconsfield, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to hydrogen as a vital part of the UK’s future transport system.
Bringing hydrogen under the canopy for the first time is a fantastic step towards making it a convenient and viable fuel choice for UK drivers.’
The station will be powered by ITM Power, who currently power 4 other hydrogen refuelling stations in the UK. The initiative has been partially funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), and the UK’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said: ‘ITM Power is pleased to open this new hydrogen station in Beaconsfield which is the first to sit on the main forecourt, alongside the petrol and diesel pumps. This shows a big step forward in offering Shell customers a clean, green fuel, which is generated on-site, eliminating fuel deliveries. We look forward to working alongside Shell to deploy further stations and grow the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK.’
Roads minister, Jesse Norman commented: ‘This is an exciting example of how innovative technologies are helping the Government’s Future of Mobility Grand Challenge – contributing towards meeting our climate targets, while supporting the UK’s low-carbon economy.
Hydrogen has the potential to play a vital role in decarbonising transport, so the unveiling of the UK’s first integrated hydrogen refuelling station is an important step forward.’