Shell has launched its first hydrogen refuelling station in the UK at its Cobham site on the M25. The new hydrogen station has been supplied by ITM Power and is the first fully branded and public hydrogen refuelling site in the UK, and is the first of three sites Shell plans to open here this year.

The opening 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 US, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

In addition, Shell is a founding member of the Hydrogen Council, comprising energy companies, OEMs and technology partners with a collective pledge to accelerate investment in the development and commercialisation 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 a driving experience similar to electric cars, and no local emissions. Hydrogen vehicles can drive up to 700km without refuelling and can be refuelled in a few minutes at a forecourt with a hydrogen pump.

Matthew Tipper, vice president, future fuels at Shell, said: "Hydrogen has the potential to become a clean and versatile transport fuel for the future, and the Cobham hydrogen site is one of the ways Shell is encouraging the use of alternative fuels to contribute to the energy transition. This will provide customers with hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles the ability to refuel simply and quickly, at one of the largest petrol stations in the UK."