Hydrogen Station Explosion Halts Fuel Cell Sales in Norway

Gif: YouTube

A hydrogen refueling station in Sandvika, Norway exploded Monday, sending two people to the hospital with minor injuries, closing down two highways and causing both Toyota and Hyundai to halt sales of fuel cell vehicles in the country.


The Uno-X station is one of three hydrogen fueling stations in Norway, a result of the Scandinavian country’s push to find a more eco-friendly solution to the traditional ICE cars. Uno-X also services gasoline and diesel vehicles.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown, but local authorities hypothesize that a hydrogen tank itself blew up, resulting in the fire. Two people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries, but no one was badly hurt, Norway Today reports.

So far, it doesn’t look like anyone will be negatively impacted, aside from FCV owners and manufacturers. A Norwegian survey found that only 160 FCV vehicles have been registered in the country, with 102 of them being serviced the Uno-X station in Sandvika. Toyota and Hyundai have both temporarily stopped sales of FCVs while the explosion is more deeply investigated. Toyota has, however, offered to supply FCV drivers with loaners in the meantime.

All Uno-X stations in Norway and the rest of the EU have closed as a result of the explosion, NRK reports—at least until the cause of the explosion can be fully determined.

There are still plenty of questions to be answered, and we’ll keep you updated as more information arrives.

UPDATE: 13:47 EST June 13, 2019: Toyota got back to us with a full statement that’s tailored for the American hydrogen enthusiast, I guess you could say. Here it is in full:

Toyota Motor North America is aware of the incident at the Kjorbo Hydrogen refueling station in Norway. We do not anticipate any impact from this incident on our current and future Mirai customers. We will continue to monitor the situation as information becomes available. We don’t anticipate any immediate impact from this incident, but we continue to monitor the situation and will inform our customers and dealers as necessary. We remain committed to Fuel Cell Electric Technology.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


Hydrogen has never made sense to me. Hydrogen is the second hardest material to keep in something. Hydrogen leaks like a puppy with a bad UTI. Only helium leaks easier than hydrogen. It will leak through a piece of solid steel.

Remember how they would fuel up the Shuttle, scrub a launch and then have to refuel it the next day? Do you know why? Because too much hydrogen escaped.

Also, I would never park a hydrogen fueled car indoors.   Just saying.