Shell has launched its first hydrogen refueling station in the UK at its Cobham service station on the M25. The new hydrogen station has been supplied by ITM Power and is the first fully branded and public hydrogen refueling site in the UK. It is the first of three hydrogen stations Shell plans to open in the UK in 2017.
The opening of Shell’s first UK hydrogen site follows the success of sites in California, and in 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.
In addition, Shell is 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 commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors.
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 without refueling and can be refueled in a few minutes at a standard forecourt with a hydrogen pump.
The hydrogen is generated on-site using an electrolyer which requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas. The hydrogen station at Cobham is the third hydrogen site in the UK to be supplied by ITM Power and opened as part of the HyFive project. The initiative has been partially funded by the European Fuel Cell, Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, and the UKs Office of Low Emission Vehicles.
Shell’s Cobham site opened in 2012 and was built for the 150,000 vehicles that travel on the M25 on a daily basis. The site received more than a million customer visits in 2016.