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.
Although there are practically no hydrogen-powered cars on British roads there is the murmur that hydrogen cars are the future of practically zero-emission motoring.
Sounds great but where will the hydrogen come from? Practically all the world's hydrogen - used in the petrochemical industry and to make artificial nitrogen fertilizers via combining it with nitrogen in the Haber-Bosch process, is made by steam-reforming natural gas. CO2 is a by-product, and will need to be "stored" if the overall process is to be truly as clean and green as is claimed. Electrolysing water on a vast scale as a source of hydrogen using green-electricity e.g. from wind-power is still on the drawing board and there is the problem that the rare earth elements used increasingly in the magnets of wind-turbines are becoming relentlessly scarce and expensive.
True that hydrogen cars do not pollute as do petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles, but at a cost of £9.5 million for one car, the price will need to be brought-down vastly if this is to be a serious contender for alternative transport. There is the further issue that there is insufficient available platinum to fabricate more than a tiny fraction of the number of fuel cells required to replace oil-fuelled transportation on any significant scale.
In respect of all these limitations, H-transport really is a flash in the pan.