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Cairn Lodge Services opens UK’s first hydrogen EV charging

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The UK’s first hydrogen-powered EV charging station is now open at Cairn Lodge Services, marking a pivotal moment for the country’s charging infrastructure.

Part of the Westmorland Family, Cairn Lodge Services, located on the M74 in Lanarkshire, has introduced its state-of-the-art EV charging facility powered by hydrogen. This milestone is the first deployment of a hydrogen-powered generator connected to EV chargers at a UK service station.

The move is significant for the UK’s EV charging landscape, with an independent report from RECHARGE UK estimating that public charging demand will triple by 2050 from 10.9TWh to 29.8TWh. 

Commenting on the development, Nabil Subuh, CEO of Westmorland Family, said: “Cairn Lodge Services is excited to offer the first hydrogen-powered EV chargers on the UK motorway network. The rapid growth of the EV market has underscored the pressing need for accessible and reliable charging facilities.

“As EV adoption soars, the pressure on the electrical grid has become increasingly evident, leaving businesses like Westmorland to look for creative, sustainable alternatives until there is sufficient grid capacity.

“We want to be at the forefront of this sustainable and eco-friendly EV charging revolution, providing convenient, green charging to our customers.

“To the customer, the charging experience is no different to a grid-connected charger, and by utilising this new technology, we can provide much-needed EV charging facilities sooner, meeting the growing demand without having a negative impact on the environment.”

Innovative partnership with GeoPura

Teaming up with GeoPura, Westmorland has connected its Hydrogen Power Unit (HPU), fuelled by green hydrogen, to Westmorland EV Chargers provided by SWARCO Smart Charging.

This integration allows the GeoPura HPU to supplement the existing grid supply, furnishing suitable electricity for EV charging at the service station.

Credit: GeoPura

By integrating GeoPura HPUs, Cairn Lodge Services is surmounting electrical grid capacity restraints and circumventing delays in the opening of its EV charging facilities.

This advancement enables the service station to meet the demands of the holiday season and the anticipated surge in EV charging requests during the Christmas period.

How do the hydrogen-powered EV charging stations work?

The GeoPura HPU harnesses hydrogen power to generate electricity, presenting a clean and efficient alternative to conventional diesel generators for off-grid and supplementary EV charging.

Utilising a fuel cell system, GeoPura units convert hydrogen gas into electricity, emitting only water as a by-product.

Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura, added: “If we can charge our EVs from the grid, where in the UK 50% of the energy is renewable, that is by far the best option.

“However, our existing distribution grid wasn’t designed to provide the energy required for an electrified transportation network. This means that many locations where we need to charge our cars don’t have sufficient power available to give the service that their owners require.

“Westmorland Family are to be congratulated for seeking innovative solutions to this challenge and implementing a combination of battery and renewable hydrogen fuel to enable them to augment their electricity grid connection and provide all the power their customers need during peak times.”

Increased access for motorists at Cairn Lodge Services

Effective from 12 December, EV drivers visiting Cairn Lodge Services will gain access to six ultra-rapid Westmorland EV chargers from SWARCO Smart Charging, all powered by green hydrogen, until a suitable electrical grid connection is established.

The launch of the Cairn Lodge Services hydrogen-powered EV charging facility underscores a pivotal moment in the UK’s transition towards sustainable transportation infrastructure.

This innovative solution sets a new benchmark for eco-friendly mobility and showcases the potential of hydrogen as a key enabler in the electrification of transport networks.

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