A record 45 new public hydrogen filling stations were opened in Europe in 2022, as major refuelling networks begin to take shape.
The number represents an 22% increase from 2021 and takes the total number of public hydrogen filling stations in Europe to 254, according to H2stations.org.
Globally, 130 new hydrogen filling stations went into operation in 2022, bringing the worldwide total to 814. There are concrete plans for a further 315 filling stations in place, and it is not possible to fill up in 37 countries after Columbia, Cyprus and Israel added their first public hydrogen refuelling facilities.
In Europe, Germany has the most public hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, with 105 filling stations, followed by France with 44 and the UK with 17, tied with the Netherlands.
Asia remains in the lead globally with 455 public hydrogen filling stations, of which 165 are in Japan, 149 in South Korea and 138 in China. The U.S. added just 11 new filling stations, with California operating 70 of the country’s total of 89.
A number of major hydrogen refuelling networks are in the process of being built across Europe.
Just this month, Air Liquide and Total Energies formed a joint venture to build more than 100 hydrogen filling stations across France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg with a focus on trucks and other heavy duty vehicles.
Hydrogen is seen as a superior choice to pure electric for larger vehicles because of faster refuelling times and the higher relative weight of batteries.
Also in February, HYSETCO, a developer of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure network in France, said it’s working with HYVIA, a hydrogen mobility joint venture from Renault and Plug, to bolster the rollout of HYSETCO’s refuelling stations and develop joint offerings to customers.
In July 2022, bp and BOC, a Linde company, said they had completed a detailed feasibility study exploring optimised designs for a potential hydrogen distribution and supply network for heavy duty transport in the UK with plans to collaborate on a future network.
In October 2021, bp and Daimler Truck agreed to study building a network of 25 hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK by 2030.
Many of the UK’s planned hydrogen hubs will be built around ports and other logistics centres where heavy duty transport will be some of the first to benefit from ready access to clean hydrogen.
For instance, Port of Shoreham is working with H2 Green on the development of a green hydrogen production and distribution hub that will serve the freight operating out of the facility.
The hydrogen production and dispensing facility being built by Ryze Hydrogen and Northern Gas Networks in Bradford (picture above) will include hydrogen vehicle refuelling facilities.
SO, while the UK may not be leading the pack with hydrogen refuelling facilities today, there are plenty of projects in the pipeline to ensure that demand will be met when hydrogen trucks hit the road in earnest in the coming years.
In the meantime, the likes of Sainsbury’s have been pushing ahead with trials of hydrogen trucks using private supplies of clean hydrogen of the kind that also support Wrightbus’s growing fleet of hydrogen buses.
To learn more about Ryze Hydrogen click here.