hydrogen fuel pump

Sainsbury’s is set to become the first supermarket to sell hydrogen on its forecourts for the new generation of environmentally-friendly vehicles.

The supermarket is working with Air Products, the leading specialist in this area, in developing a network of nine forecourts in London and the South East selling hydrogen.

The Sainsbury’s SmartFuel station is being delivered as part of the London Hydrogen Network Expansion project, of which Air Products is a part, and which is backed by the government and co-funded by Innovate UK. Sainsbury’s will test the fuel at its Hendon store in North West London by the end of this year.

Air Products says the only byproduct of the fuel is water, there is little sacrifice to performance, and drivers can refuel in less than three minutes. The fuel offers drivers the same range and speed as conventional vehicles, it claims. “Hydrogen vehicles are environmentally friendly as well as efficient so we are really excited about being the first UK supermarket to trial this new technology and make it accessible to our customers,” said Avishai Moor, fuel and kiosk category manager at Sainsbury’s.

Diane Raine, Air Products’ hydrogen energy business manager, said making hydrogen technology available at a supermarket for the first time was “another big step in encouraging the use of cleaner, greener fuels to reduce air pollution and protect the nation’s health.”

“We’re already leading the charge with a network of hydrogen stations across London and this additional station will set us in good stead for the UK arrival of commercially available hydrogen vehicles over the next few years.” She told The Grocer that lots of companies were “watching and waiting”. Another group,UKH2Mobility, a consortium of industry and government including Daimler, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, BOC and Morrisons, predicts there will be 1.6m hydrogen-powered vehicles on British roads by 2030.

Matthew Hancock, business minister, last week announced £11m of UK government and industry funding to support hydrogen transport with a view to expanding the number of hydrogen fuelling points to encourage uptake of the vehicles.