UK's first open access hydrogen refueling station opens


September 21, 2011

A Honda FCX Clarity being refueled at the UK's first open access hydrogen filling station, in Swindon

A Honda FCX Clarity being refueled at the UK's first open access hydrogen filling station, in Swindon

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If you live in Britain and are debating whether or not you should purchase a hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity, well ... your decision may now be a bit easier to make. In order to encourage development of fuel cell vehicles such as the FCX, Honda has just opened the UK's first open access station for hydrogen-powered vehicles. It's located on the grounds of Honda of the UK Manufacturing in Swindon, and everyone who needs a little hydrogen in their lives is welcome.

The commercial-scale station can fill vehicles at either 350 or 700 bar, which are the two standard pressures used by major vehicle manufacturers. Filling up an FCX is said to take less than five minutes, and due to the fact that the station uses multiple hydrogen cylinders, cars can fill up immediately after one another - at stations with less cylinders, users might have to wait for more hydrogen to be generated.

Situated along the M4 motorway, the station is approximately half way between London and Swansea. It is hoped that it will serve as a model for other hydrogen filling stations to be built in the UK, that will provide the infrastructure necessary for the wide use of hydrogen-powered vehicles. BOC, the industrial gas company that partially funded the project, has already established similar stations at over 70 locations around the world.

Honda is also developing a Home Energy Station, so FCX owners can refuel without always having to hunt down commercial hydrogen stations.

A little more information on the Swindon station - and the car - can be found in the video below.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

They didn\'t tell about how this hydrogen was extract !!?

Jérôme Dumais

Funny that they kept saying that \"hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe\", hiding the fact that they exist, in sheer abundance, in stars and not on earth...

On earth very few hydrogen exist and to get to the concentration you need to fuel a lot of cars you need to extract it from water via electrolysis or reform them from existing fossil fuels like natural gas....

Electrolysis uses electricity, and this contributes to more carbon emissions... especially in the current nuclear fearing times.

I\'d be very interested in finding out how they source their hydrogen... and i don\'t think they\'re pulling it off of stars...

Antonio Ong

It appears that car makers are aware of advances in hydrogen production research and have built their new alternate fuel driven cars on the assumption that cheap fuel is just around the corner, and two days ago the gizmag article 'Researchers turn wastewater into "inexhaustible" source of hydrogen' [19 Sept 2011] gives us hope that this is a possible future for the demise of the fossil fuel engine.

David Stephenson

Given that they appear to be generating the hydrogen on site, I\'d bet that there dumping almost twice the electrical energy into water, as they are getting out in chemical energy from combustible hydrogen.


I could prove how to produce hydrogen from wind source , even a stream. or the sun. on board storage is where I would question. We already have the technology. How they store their hydrogen could be dangerous unless I am missing something.

Bill Odermatt

Re; Bill Ray Odermatt

Hydrogen is no more dangerous than any other flammable gas. Safer actually because of the speed at which it dissipates.

Put the bottles inside a fence that will stop a fully loaded truck trying to ram and a drafty weather shield and it will be as safer than buried gasoline tanks. Leaks won\'t put toxins into the ground.


So how much does a liter of H2 cost?

Andreja Sinadinovic Vijatovic
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