UK's first open access hydrogen refueling station opens
By Ben Coxworth
September 21, 2011
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.