ITM Power, along with Johnson Matthey, will today open its seventh public access hydrogen (H2) refuelling station in Swindon, UK.

Located at Johnson Matthey, which is home to the company’s fuel cell component manufacturing facility, the new station lies just off the M4 linking South Wales with London. It is now open for public and private fleets operating fuel cell electric vehicles.

The opening is being supported by Toyota, Hyundai and Honda and attendees will be able to experience a zero emission journey in a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) Ride and Drive.

The station, which is the first of two in the UK to be deployed as part of the pan European H2ME2 project, uses electricity via a renewable energy contract and water to generate H2 on-site with no need for deliveries. It was funded by the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) and the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

A further station to be deployed by ITM Power under H2ME1 will be located at Gatwick Airport and opened before the end of this year.

swindon station

Source: ITM Power

Dr. Graham Cooley, ITM Power’s CEO, commented, “We are extremely pleased to have launched our seventh H2 refuelling station. ITM Power is grateful for the co-operation of our H2ME2 partners and for the funding support of FCHJU and OLEV. We are again collaborating with local stakeholders to develop a significant FCEV around the new station.”

Matthew Harwood, Group Strategy Director, Johnson Matthey, added, “There’s no doubt that H2 will be part of our energy mix going forward and we are delighted that ITM’s seventh refuelling station is located at our site in Swindon.”

“Johnson Matthey has a great heritage in the development of fuel cell technologies, as well as in the catalysts and technologies for the large-scale production of H2. At Johnson Matthey we apply our science to making a cleaner, healthier world; our fuel cell technology, where H2 is converted electrochemically to clean power, is an important enabler in the journey to zero emission transport and pollution free roads.”

UK Government’s commitment to H2

Prime Minister Theresa May outlined the UK Government’s ‘Road to Zero Strategy’ on 11th September at the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham. It includes funding of £1.5bn ($2bn) for ultra-low-emission vehicles by 2020.

At the event, May also announced more than £100m ($132m) of funding for innovators in ultra-low-emissions vehicles and H2 technology.

The Road to Zero Strategy is the most comprehensive plan globally – mapping out in detail how the UK will reach its target for all new cars and vans to be, effectively, zero emission by 2040 – and for every car and van to be zero emission by 2050.

Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota GB’s President and Managing Director, said, “The opening of this new ITM Power facility establishes a valuable, strategic link in the development of the UK’s H2 fuel infrastructure. We welcome it not only as a benefit for drivers of the Toyota Mirai H2 fuel cell electric saloon, but also as another step towards realising the wider benefits of H2 as a clean and sustainable energy source in the future – a key mission for Toyota globally.”

Rob Cockerill - BW v1 Cropped

Why this station’s opening is significant

Analysis by Rob Cockerill, Global Managing Editor

This new hydrogen station from ITM Power and Johnson Matthey is significant for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, and most obviously, it’s exciting for the local area (Swindon) because it will generate hydrogen gas onsite using only electricity and water, and allow users to refuel in just minutes before heading off on a potentially 350-mile range.

But it’s also significant for a variety of other, perhaps less overt reasons.

The station is the first of two in the UK to be deployed as part of the pan European H2ME2 project, an initiative which aims to be the first truly pan-European network of hydrogen refuelling stations. It’s also the seventh such station in the UK for ITM Power, and an addition that further opens up the M4 corridor for zero emission driving.

All of which can only be a good thing for the budding hydrogen economy.

Likewise, the collaboration on show at the station’s opening can only be a good thing. I wrote earlier this year that there exists a gravitas now in the hydrogen economy, with household names in the automotive industry publicly throwing their weight behind the cause. They are backing up the rhetoric….

Read the full column ’Why new Swindon hydrogen station is significant’