London’s first-ever permanent hydrogen fuelling station was officially unveiled by the Deputy Mayor of London, Kit Malthouse.  Air Products supplied the station to Transport for London who will use it to fuel five hydrogen powered buses.  Operating between Covent Garden and Tower Hill, the buses will be one of the largest hydrogen fleets in Europe.

“The opening of a fuelling station in our capital city represents an exciting step forward in the development of a low carbon transport infrastructure using hydrogen at its core,” commented Ian Williamson, Director of Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products and President of the European Hydrogen Association.

“Londoners will be able to take a hydrogen-powered bus to work and see for themselves that this technology is safe, clean and hugely effective at reducing London’s transport emissions.”

The fuelling station will receive its hydrogen supply from a new delivery vehicle developed by Air Products.  The Hydrogen Dual Phase Tanker enables hydrogen to be delivered to fuelling stations as a liquid or as a high pressure gas. This means that the station does not require any compression on site; thus removing a typically high cost and high maintenance element in the hydrogen refuelling supply chain.  This is the first station of its kind in Europe, and is the beginning of a low cost hydrogen network being deployed by Air Products across London and the UK.

At a recent Government roundtable that discussed the benefits of establishing hydrogen infrastructure across UK constituencies, Dominic Raab MP commented:

“It is great to have a local business pioneering high-tech innovation, designed to address the challenge of climate change in a way that makes economic sense. This will be a growth area for the UK economy.”

This increased UK focus on hydrogen as a viable alternative to traditional fuel is in line with the conclusions of a recent fact-based European industry review, A portfolio of power-trains for Europe: a fact based analysis.  The report found that there was a clear business case for the establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure and called for an orchestrated investment plan across the EU, which would build up the first critical mass of hydrogen supply.

“The most important thing Government can do is make a political commitment, because we know from London that when you make that political commitment the manufacturers, the suppliers of hydrogen like Air Products, the bankers, the financiers, they start to come and look with interest because what they want is a political commitment to know that they can invest with confidence in the future,” said Kit Malthouse who is also Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership.

source: Air Products