Shell has launched its first hydrogen refuelling station in the UK at its Cobham service station on the M25.
It is the first of three hydrogen stations Shell plans to open in the UK in 2017 and has been supplied by ITM Power as part of the HyFive project. The initiative has been partially funded by the European Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, and the UK's Office for Low Emission Vehicles.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity and produce only heat and water when driven. They offer an alternative to the conventional internal combustion engine, a driving experience similar to electric cars, and no local emissions. Hydrogen vehicles can drive up to 700 kilometers (435 miles) without refuelling and can be refuelled in a few minutes at a standard forecourt with a hydrogen pump.
Sinead Lynch, Shell’s UK country chair, said: “We believe the journey to a low-carbon economy requires a coordinated and collaborative approach among organisations in the transport sector, including providers of energy and transport vehicles, users of transport vehicles, local authorities as well as Government. The Cobham retail site is a small but significant first step toward developing infrastructure needed for increased usage of hydrogen vehicles.”
The opening of Shell’s first UK hydrogen site follows sites in California and Germany where Shell is part of a joint venture with the ambition to open a network of up to 400 hydrogen sites by 2023. Shell is in the process of assessing the potential of future projects in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Shell is also a founding member of the Hydrogen Council, announced at Davos in January 2017, comprising energy companies, OEMs and technology partners with a collective pledge to accelerate investment in the development and commercialisation of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors.