UK debuts first public hydrogen-powered EV chargers

Hayley Everett

Leading the charge with the UK’s first public hydrogen-powered electric car charging points.

Those who spend time travelling on the M74 in Lanarkshire, Scotland, may be familiar with Cairn Lodge Services, a family-run motorway services business. For those who aren’t, this is about to change, as the business has made headlines with the launch of its cutting-edge electric vehicle (EV) charging facility, powered by hydrogen.

This marks a first-of-its-kind deployment of a hydrogen-powered generator connected to EV chargers at a UK service station, and is expected to accelerate to rollout of EV charging points throughout the country. Cairn Lodge Services is part of the Westmorland Family motorway services group, which partnered with renewable energy solutions provider GeoPura to connect the latter’s green hydrogen-powered generator (HPU) with its EV chargers to meet increasing demand for these facilities.


The rapid growth of the EV market has highlighted an urgent need for widespread charging points. As more people switch to EVs, the pressure on the electrical grid will only increase. In fact, an independent report from Recharge UK estimates that by 2050, demand will nearly triple for public charging - from 10.9TWh to 29.8TWh.

“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,” says Nabil Subuh, CEO of Westmorland Family. “We want to be at the forefront of this sustainable and eco-friendly EV charging revolution, providing convenient, green charging to our customers. The customer’s charging experience is no difference experience is no different from that of 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.”


The GeoPura HPU harnesses the power of hydrogen to generate electricity, offering a clean and efficient alternative to traditional diesel generators to provide off-grid and supplementary power for EV charging. The units utilise a fuel cell system that converts hydrogen gas into electricity, emitting only water as a by-product.

Each HPU delivers 250kVA of standard three-phase, 400V critical electrical power backed up by an integral 216kWh battery system. Multiple units can be combined to provide seamless capability for any scope of project.

“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,” explains Andrew Cunningham, CEO of GeoPura. “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. GeoPura’s HPU EV charging solution presents a game-changing approach to maximise electrical grid capacity and ensure seamless and sustainable charging for EVs, today.”

By integrating the GeoPura HPUs, Westmorland Family are able to implement a combination of battery and renewable hydrogen fuel to enable the augmentation of their electricity grid, and provide all the power their customers need during peak times. The partnership sets a precedent for the future of EV charging infrastructure, with hydrogen power offered as a novel solution to accelerating the roll-out of these points until the distribution of electricity can catch up with the demand.”


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