Air Products has announced that two of its projects have successfully been awarded funding from the Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS) Infrastructure Grants Scheme, run by the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles’ (OLEV).

The funding will be used to upgrade two of the company’s existing London SmartFuel® stations and is aimed at enhancing the user experience to encourage commercial and public adoption of hydrogen transport.

The news is also seen as an important indicator of the UK’s continued momentum towards an established hydrogen transport network.

“Having already achieved the necessary technical and operational standards, improving the user experience is the natural next step,” commented Diana Raine, Air Products’ European Hydrogen Energy Business Manager.

“Working in consultation with car manufacturers such as Hyundai and Toyota, we will use the funding provided by OLEV to introduce enhancements to our Heathrow and Hendon fuelling stations aimed at encouraging commercial and public adoption of hydrogen transport.”

Air Products has proven its hydrogen infrastructure to be technology ready and is successfully replicating it around the world in parallel with car manufacturer’s hydrogen vehicle deployment plans. In London, the company successfully operates the country’s first network of publicly accessible hydrogen stations – these dispensers regularly supply fuel to hydrogen passenger cars such as the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, vans and taxis delivered through projects supported by the FCHJU and Innovate UK.

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“Hyundai Motor UK have for some time been using the Air Products SmartFuel Stations,” added Robin Hayles, Sustainable Fuel Development Manager for Hyundai Motor UK Ltd. “These stations have not only supported the first few of our ix35 Fuel Cell customers but have also allowed us to demonstrate the real world viability of this technology to other potential customers. We are pleased that Air Products have been awarded OLEV funding to enhance the customer experience, since this will further demonstrate that hydrogen transport is no longer a future vision but is already a realistic alternative to traditional vehicle technologies.”

OLEV’s funding will also be used to enable Air Products to deploy fully mobile hydrogen fuelling solution, to allow vehicle demonstration and testing across the UK, including areas where the fixed fuelling infrastructure is not yet developed.

Both the mobile fueller and upgraded fuelling stations use Air Products’ high pressure delivery trailer. Unlike other stations that produce hydrogen onsite, delivering hydrogen at a high pressure reduces the need for onsite compression, leading to high levels of reliability and minimising the forecourt footprint. This is regarded an important distinction as the industry moves towards commercial adoption of the technology and is a proven model demonstrated at Air Products’ SmartFuel® bus refuelling station in London.