Toyota and Hyundai halts delivery of hydrogen cars in Norway

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2019 Toyota Mirai
2019 Toyota Mirai | Photo: Toyota

A massive explosion of a hydrogen station in Norway on Monday pushed Toyota and Hyundai to halt the deliveries of their hydrogen cars.

On Monday, June 10th, a powerful explosion happened at the Uno-X station hydrogen refuelling station near Oslo in Norway. The incident occurred at 5:40 PM local time and the fire was contained shortly after 8:00 PM.

Nel Hydrogen, the company operating the hydrogen refuelling station said that no serious injuries were reported.

“We are grateful for the swift work of emergency responders and that no major injuries have been reported. It is too early to speculate in the cause of the incident. Safety remains the core of our operations and we’re providing all relevant technical assistance in the ongoing investigation. In addition to immediately mobilizing our personnel to the scene, we have also brought in our experts from Denmark overnight. We will continue to work closely with all relevant parties to determine the root cause,” said Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel Hydrogen.

Out of precaution, the company closed 10 more refuelling stations in several countries including Norway and Danemark, leaving fuel-cell vehicles owners with very limited options for refuelling their cars.

Local media TU reports that both Toyota and Hyundai halted the delivery of their hydrogen vehicles. The Japanese manufacturer goes a step further and will offer current Toyota FCEV owners to borrow another vehicle for free while the refuelling stations are closed.

Espen Olsen of Toyota Norway said, as reported by TU: “We don’t know exactly what happened on the Uno-X drive yet, so we don’t want to speculate. But we stop the delivery until we have learned what has happened, and for practical reasons, since it is not possible to fill fuel now.”

Olsen adds: “This does not change our view of hydrogen, and it is important for us to point out that hydrogen cars are at least as safe as ordinary cars. The hydrogen tanks themselves are so robust that you can shoot them with a gun without knocking them.”

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