UK's first hydrogen filling station to open in Swindon

Honda Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car
Image caption The Honda Clarity is the world's first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car

The UK's first commercial hydrogen filling station is to be opened in Swindon.

The fuel cell station will open at car manufacturer Honda's South Marston plant in September.

Honda manufactures the FCX Clarity, the world's first commercially available hydrogen-powered vehicle.

The station is being seen as an important step in a UK-wide scheme to make hydrogen vehicles a viable alternative to petrol-driven cars.

Swindon Borough Council's regeneration body, Forward Swindon, was awarded a £250,000 grant from the South West England Regional Development Agency in order to build the fuel station at Honda in Swindon.

Forward Swindon Chief Executive Ian Piper said: "It's absolutely ground-breaking stuff. It is the first one in the UK and we think it's great that Swindon is at the forefront of this.

"The automative and car-making sector is very important to Swindon, and it's important for Swindon to be at the leading edge in this way."

BOC, the UK's largest supplier of industrial gases, will be installing and operating the facility. As one of the project partners, the gases company is also providing further private sector funding to the venture.

Although there are currently few hydrogen-powered cars on the road in the UK, evironmentally-friendly, low-carbon emission vehicles are seen by many as the future of motoring.

The Hydrogen Highway initiative has been set up to promote the viability of new, alternative fuel technologies and build a number of hydrogen-fuelling stations across the south west.

The project also aims to encourage Honda to research and develop new hydrogen-powered cars at its Swindon plant. Currently they are only being manufactured in Japan.

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