Hydrogen pump under the canopy at Shell Beaconsfield
New hydrogen refuelling facility 'under the canopy' at Shell M40 Beaconsfield
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DRIVERS of hydrogen fuel cell electric cars need no longer feel they are being treated as second class citizens, cast away to refuel at a remote area.

That’s because Shell has just opened a new refuelling station for hydrogen at Shell Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire on the M40.

And it’s ‘under the canopy’, situated along with the fuel pumps for petrol and diesel fuelled cars.

What’s more, the hydrogen is generated on-site using an electrolyser that requires only water and electricity to generate the hydrogen gas. So it’s clean generated and without the need for transportation to the site.

The new hydrogen refuelling station at Shell Beaconsfield has been supplied by ITM Power.

It is the fifth UK hydrogen refuelling site to be supplied by ITM Power and will be the first to be opened as part of the H2ME project. 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).

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.”

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.”

Why are hydrogen cars important for company car drivers?

Businesswoman filling up with Hydrogen at Shell Beaconsfield
Businesswoman filling up a Toyota Mirai company car with hydrogen at Shell M40 Beaconsfield

Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are an extremely clean form of company car.

So for SME firms and company car drivers wanting an environmentally friendly car, hydrogen cars are a way to achieve this.

A fuel cell electric vehicle converts hydrogen into electricity to drive an electric motor. The only emissions are water from the tailpipe.

Hydrogen fuelled cars can travel up to 300 miles on a single tank and can be refuelled in a few minutes – overcoming the range anxiety and the recharging time required for a battery electric vehicles.

Hydrogen fuel cell electric cars are subject to the least amount of benefit in kind company car tax.

A company car driver of a hydrogen fuel cell electric car will be taxed at 13% of the car’s P11D value in 2018/19, rising to 16% in the following taxation year before dropping to 2% in the 2020/21 tax year.

The Toyota Mirai and Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell are examples of hydrogen car that are available.

What is a hydrogen fuel cell car like to drive?

You can read what we thought of the Toyota Mirai here.

And here’s our first drive review of the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell.

Are there more hydrogen refuelling stations?

Yes, there are, although Shell Beaconsfield is the first to mix hydrogen with normal transport fuels ‘under the canopy’.

In 2017 Shell opened its first UK hydrogen refuelling station at the M25 Cobham service station. There are some dozen hydrogen fuel stations operating in the UK.

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