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More hydrogen refueling stations coming to the Netherlands

November 24, 2022

Hydrogen as a clean fuel

Heijnen: “I really like hydrogen as a clean fuel for trucks in particular. Heavy traffic can travel many kilometers on hydrogen, without exhaust fumes. Our transport sector is ambitious and so am I, together we can make pace.”

The Netherlands will have a total of 14 hydrogen refueling stations by 2022. That should be as many as 50 by 2025, according to the 2019 Climate Accord targets. Scaling up is therefore necessary. According to the secretary of state, this will succeed with additional subsidies, particularly targeted at heavy haulage, inland shipping and construction equipment filling stations.

Hydrogen refueling station every 100-150 kilometers

With the subsidy scheme, Heijnen wants to boost the use of hydrogen as a fuel on the road. To meet its climate goals, it wants to bet on multiple techniques for zero-emission driving. Electric with a battery, or on hydrogen. This is also in line with European regulations that the Netherlands has been pushing for. It mandates increased use of hydrogen in industry and transportation, and a hydrogen refueling station along the highway every 100-150 kilometers and at major urban hubs, throughout the European Union (EU).

Hydrogen truck

Breaking the chicken-egg situation

The fact that there are still few hydrogen refueling stations in the Netherlands is a barrier to investing in hydrogen trucks. And because there are few trucks, it is not attractive to open a hydrogen fueling station. Heijnen wants to break this chicken-and-egg problem with a subsidy scheme. “Subsidy is needed because investing in hydrogen trucks or buses is a lot more expensive than their diesel-powered siblings,” Heijen stated.

Subsidy scheme starts in early 2024

The subsidy scheme is expected to start in early 2024. The bottom line is that plans receive subsidies if both a gas station is built and the associated trucks are purchased. On average, about 20-25 per gas station. This can also be done in cooperation between parties. In this way, supply and demand come together simultaneously, and profitable hydrogen refueling stations can see the light of day in more and more locations around the country.

Hydrogen truck

Major strides to be made with hydrogen

President of Transport and Logistics Netherlands Elisabeth Post: “It is important and good that investments are being made in the infrastructure of zero-emission vehicles. That applies not only to battery-electric vehicles, but certainly also to hydrogen-electric ones. So it is good that IenW is helping to take important steps in this. In the coming years, the challenge is to further scale up quickly.”

5 to 10 additional hydrogen refueling stations

The 22 million euros Heijnen is allocating for the subsidy scheme is estimated to be enough to get gas stations with associated trucks off the ground at 5 to 10 locations around the country. The exact number depends on the exact project proposals submitted. This is a good start, but more is needed to get hydrogen off the ground on a large scale and meet climate goals. Heijnen is therefore exploring how more budget can be made available in the coming period.

All trucks clean by 2050

The Netherlands, along with a growing number of other countries, wants all new trucks to run without exhaust emissions from 2040. This will make all trucks, which average about 10 years on the road, clean by 2050. Business owners can switch to a clean truck now and in the coming years with subsidies. The government is investing in hydrogen not only for transportation, but there are also plans for industry and residential heating.