Hydrogen filling station is opened

Car giant Honda opened the UK's first public hydrogen filling station today in a move aimed at boosting the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The new station is located at the carmaker's plant in Swindon and is operated by industrial gases company BOC.

Honda said it looks like a conventional filling station, with a similar time to fill a vehicle as with petrol or diesel.

Thomas Brachmann, of Honda, said: "Hydrogen fuel cell technology is the ultimate transport solution, meeting environmental demands but also delivering the range and performance that customers expect.

"The co-operation on this project between vehicle manufacturers like Honda, infrastructure providers like BOC and the public sector can be a blueprint for future development."

Mike Huggon, managing director of BOC, said: "This is the first commercial-scale, open-access station in the UK.

"It demonstrates that we can build the infrastructure needed to establish a hydrogen-powered transport system. But even with private and public support - as we have here in Swindon - we need Government commitment to make this work across the country as a whole.

"We can provide the tools but the Government has to create the policy framework in which we can build the low carbon infrastructure of tomorrow."

The new station is open to anyone developing or using hydrogen-powered vehicles.

:: Nissan said it had teamed up with leading European utility and electrical vehicle supply equipment companies to speed development of cheaper, smaller, quick chargers for electric vehicle batteries, and accelerate the installation of publicly-available Quick Charge points across Europe.

:: British motorists with fully-electric cars can drive 1,000 miles for just over £5 by using solar energy, according to figures released today by British Gas.

Dean Keeling, of British Gas, said: "Through solar-generated energy, our customers can significantly cut their fuel costs and help reduce Britain's carbon footprint."