Check out Sainsbury’s latest innovation: hydrogen refuelling in aisle 11

Published: 13 March 2015

► The UK's first supermarket hydrogen pump
► Sainsbury's launches H2 at London store
► Part of wider hydrogen roll-out

You might normally associate a trip to Sainsbury’s with buying ham and honey - but as of this week you can also stock up on hydrogen for your car.

The UK’s first public hydrogen refuelling station at a supermarket has opened at the large grocery store in Hendon, north London.

Although a drop in the ocean, this is an important milestone; hydrogen fuel-cell cars may be the future, but not until there is a viable network of refuelling centres.

Why has Sainsbury’s opened a hydrogen pump in London?

Not because they expect to be inundated with fuel-cell drivers wanting to top up 24/7, that’s for sure. Rather this is an important first step in building that nascent refuelling infrastructure.

Until now, hydrogen fuel stations have tended to be at commercial depots, tucked away on industrial estates and at Heathrow Airport.

Sainsbury’s says it has got involved in the project to fuel the taxis, delivery vans and Hyundai ix35 fuel-cell cars circulating in London.

The site delivers hydrogen at high pressure - 350 or 700 bar - so that filling up with H2 takes just three minutes. It will be operated by Air Products. 

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet