Honda has officially opened the first open access hydrogen vehicle refueling station in the UK. Located in the automaker’s manufacturing facility in Swindon, this new station could be used by anyone who develops or uses hydrogen-powered vehicles. Industrial gases company BOC, a part of The Linde Group, has built and is operating this station.
This venture is the product of the partnership between Honda, BOC and economic development company Forward Swindon. It could fill vehicles at both 350 bar and 700 bar, the two standard filling pressures that are used by leading automakers.
This station seeks to urge the development of both hydrogen-powered vehicles like the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell car. It builds a strategic link half way along the M4 between London and Swansea. This commercial scale station is fully operational. Similar stations may be built throughout the country, creating a network that leads to the widespread uptake of hydrogen-powered transport.
The new station features several innovations. It can fill vehicles ‘back-to-back’ using a bank of hydrogen cylinders. As a result, vehicles could be filled one after another without needing to wait for more hydrogen to be produced.
It actually has the appearance of a typical filling station. The time spent on filling a vehicle is comparable with conventional fuels. For instance, filling the Honda FCX Clarity takes less than five minutes.