The world’s first hydrogen filling station, opened in Iceland 4 years ago to serve buses, has been made available for use by private cars and represents the latest step in a project to integrate hydrogen-fuelled vehicles in the country in the next 2 years.

The announcement is the latest step in a pilot project conceived by Icelandic New Energy, a company backed by the government, academics and private firms, aiming to have up to 40 hydrogen cars on the roads of the capital by the end of 2009.

Jon Bjorn Skulason, general manager of Icelandic New Energy, told Reuters, “The future prospects for hydrogen are very bright. There is no other fuel in the world that fills the demands that fossil fuel fills today.”

The filling station opened in 2003 but initially only served the three hydrogen buses involved in a separate pilot. It will now be available to power 10 Toyota Prius hydrogen cars, delivered to 3 Icelandic companies recently.