Sainsbury’s has announced the UK’s first supermarket forecourt hydrogen dispenser will be located at its Hendon (London) store by the end of the year (2014).

Working with Air Products, the new dispenser will join a network of existing stations helping to bring a breath of fresh air to residents and visitors in London and the South East.

The SmartFuel® station will be able to fuel a growing number of hydrogen-powered fleets driving around the capital. From hydrogen-powered buses running between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway, to hybrid delivery vans operated by Commercial Group and hydrogen powered taxis already driving on London’s roads; it is clear hydrogen isn’t a fuel of the future, it’s a fuel for today.

Avishai Moor, Fuel & Kiosk Category Manager from Sainsbury’s, commented, “Hydrogen vehicles are both environmentally friendly as well as efficient so we are really excited about being the first UK supermarket to trial this new technology and make it accessible to our customers.”

Owned and operated by Air Products, the 700-bar SmartFuel® station is being delivered as part of a project aimed at creating the UK’s first hydrogen transport system – the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project, backed by UK government, is co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK).

“Making hydrogen technology available at a supermarket for the first time is another big step in encouraging the use of cleaner, greener fuels to reduce air pollution and protect the nation’s health,” added Diana Raine, Air Products’ Hydrogen Energy Business Manager. “We’re already leading the charge with a network of hydrogen stations across London and this additional station will set us in good stead for the UK arrival of commercially available hydrogen vehicles over the next few years.”

TSB first supported LHNE in 2012 as part of a £7.5m initiative to accelerate the commercialisation of projects involving fuel cells and hydrogen energy systems. Its aim was to link smaller-scale projects together to form complete low-carbon solutions.