Honda opens UK’s first commercial-scale hydrogen fuel facility

A group of businesses including Honda, Commercial Group and Fuel Cell Systems, today launched the UK's first commercial-scale hydrogen refueling facility at a Honda site in Swindon.

The facility will mark another UK ‘first’ by using solar power to produce hydrogen via electrolysis, making it truly ‘green’ fuel. 

Among other things the hydrogen will be used to run the UK’s first hydrogen powered fork-lift trucks and an on-site hydrogen-powered Education Centre.

Commercial Group environmental strategist Simon Graham said: “For the UK to meet its air quality and carbon targets, it is essential that we find new ways to deliver the goods and services that the economy depends on.  

“Using hydrogen produced from sunlight to power vehicles has the potential to help solve both environmental challenges. Commercial is proud to be part of this consortium that is demonstrating that this solution is no dream but a reality”.

Green benchmark

Director of Honda UK manufacturing Jason Smith added: “This project is absolutely aligned with Honda Motor’s environmental vision. Through this project we have made great advances in proving the commercial viability of truly ‘green’ hydrogen for a wide range of applications.  We at Honda here in Swindon feel extremely privileged to be a part of this consortium and to host the facility on our site.”

It is hoped that this facility, funded by the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK,  will encourage the growth of a national refuelling infrastructure and establish the UK as a location for major car manufacturers to roll out fuel cell vehicles.

In fact, last week Hyundai became the first company to supply zero-emission vehicles to paying customers in the UK when it delivered five of its ix35 fuel cell cars.

Each car can travel more than 350 miles in real-world driving conditions – with no harmful tailpipe emissions – before refuelling.

A national hyrodgen infrastructure is also starting to take shape, with Sainsbury’s announcing last week the launch of the UK’s first supermarket hydrogen filling station.

Brad Allen

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