Shell Takes a Lead in Hydrogen Cell Vehicle Refuelling
Shell is to open the UK’s first ‘under the canopy’ hydrogen filling pump at one of the country’s busiest service stations.
Although not the first hydrogen refuelling point (it will be the fifth in the UK to be supplied by ITM Power), Shell Beaconsfield on the M40 will be the first site in the UK to bring hydrogen under the same canopy as petrol and diesel at a traditional service station, highlighting the technology’s advantage over battery-powered electric vehicles.
Rather than having to wait for a battery to charge, drivers can simply ‘fill up’ in much the same way and in a similar time as with petrol and diesel vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity to power the engine and produce only heat and water when driven. They can travel up to 700 kilometres on a single tank and can be refuelled in a few minutes.
In this case, the hydrogen sold is generated on-site using an electrolyser that requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas, thus avoiding CO2 emissions from transporting the fuel from manufacturing site top retail point.
Mike Copson, Hydrogen Business Development Manager at Shell, said: “We’re delighted to be opening a new refuelling site at Shell Beaconsfield, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to hydrogen as a vital part of the UK’s future transport system. Bringing hydrogen under the canopy for the first time is a fantastic step towards making it a convenient and viable fuel choice for UK drivers.”
This filling point is the first in the H2ME project, which aims to give fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) drivers access to a pan-European network of hydrogen refuelling stations. The initiative has been partially funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), and the UK’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
Dr. Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, said: “This shows a big step forward in offering Shell customers a clean, green fuel, which is generated on-site, eliminating fuel deliveries. We look forward to working alongside Shell to deploy further stations and grow the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in the UK.”
Roads Minister, Jesse Norman commented: “Hydrogen has the potential to play a vital role in decarbonising transport, so the unveiling of the UK’s first integrated hydrogen refuelling station is an important step forward.”
The opening of the hydrogen station follows a number of recent Shell initiatives to support the UK’s transition to low-carbon transport. These include the launch of Shell ReCharge, Shell’s on-forecourt rapid electric vehicle charging service; an agreement with charging network operator IONITY to offer charge points across ten European countries; and the acquisition of NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging networks.