Norway hydrogen station explodes, Toyota and Hyundai halt sales

10 of the company's stations shut down in response

Update: Nel Hydrogen released some preliminary findings as it moves along with its investigation. Fire and explosion safety consultants from Gexcon are working with Nel. It also said the formal investigation "will take time," but there is no hint as to how long it will be.

"Based on what we have seen at the site, we can conclude that neither the electrolyzer nor the dispenser used by customers had anything to do with this incident. We will continue to analyze the other components of the site to further narrow down the source," says Geirmund Vislie, Vice President Consultant of Gexcon AS.

The Kjørbo site also includes a containerized, pressurized alkaline electrolyzer that produces hydrogen in part from solar power. This is delivered by the Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser division.

"We are pleased with the preliminary findings, and our electrolyzer division will now return to business as usual," says Jon André Løkke.

A hydrogen station in Norway experienced an explosion on Monday, and the company who runs the station has since shut down 10 other hydrogen stations, according to several local sources. The station was in a suburb of the country's capital of Oslo. As of now, Nel Hydrogen (company who supplied the hydrogen and equipment) doesn't have an official explanation for the cause of the explosion (they are investigating). Reports from Norwegian outlets still don't specify or speculate as to the reasoning. There were no injuries or deaths that were a direct result of the explosion, but two people were taken to the hospital after the force of the blast caused the airbags to deploy in their car nearby.

In response to the incident, both Toyota and Hyundai have halted deliveries of their hydrogen-powered cars in Norway. The stations that Nel Hydrogen shut down are located across both Norway and other countries in Europe. For some context on the ownership of this station, Nel Hydrogen and Uno X (traditional fueling station company) have a joint agreement in operating that particular location. Due to some of the few stations being shut down across several countries, folks with hydrogen cars don't have many options for filling their cars at the moment.

We've asked Nel Hydrogen if it could help fill in some of the blanks about how it occurred, when the stations will reopen, and how the company can prevent this from happening again. The newest information from Nel can be found at the top of this post in the update.

Norwegian news outlets have been on the ground covering the explosion. Tu reported that Nel's CEO said the grounds are safe now. Experts have been onsite working to make sure the explosion is contained. Folks in the area described an incredibly loud bang when the explosion occurred. Additionally, this particular filling station developed by Nel was the first of a new generation of hydrogen stations when it was opened in 2016, according to Tu. It boasted more powerful compressors and better cooling than hydrogen stations built before it.

The video below is from a news channel that stitched together many folks' videos of the burning and smoking hydrogen station. With the reports of sales stoppages from Hyundai and Toyota, we've reached out to see if there is any further information regarding their hydrogen car sales.

Hyundai says "the incident in Norway is not expected to have any effect on US sales plans for Nexo." Toyota also sent us a statement. "Toyota Norway has suspended deliveries of Mirai until fueling options are available. Mirai is still available for purchase in Norway and the region. There has been no impact to U.S. sales or availability of Mirai."

Hyundai NEXO Information

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