News item | 11-22-2022 | 11:45

    The cabinet wants to speed up hydrogen-powered trucks and other heavy traffic. State Secretary Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Management) wrote this to the House of Representatives today. To this end, it is introducing a subsidy scheme for more hydrogen filling stations, with accompanying trucks. Initially, it will allocate € 22 million for this.

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

    With the subsidy scheme, Heijnen wants to boost the use of hydrogen as a fuel on the road. To achieve the climate goals, she wants to use several techniques to drive without emissions. Electric with a battery, or on hydrogen. This is also in line with European regulations to which the Netherlands has worked. This prescribes that more hydrogen must be used in industry and in the transport sector, and that a hydrogen filling station must be installed along the highway every 100-150 kilometers and at major urban nodes, throughout the European Union (EU).

    Breaking the chicken-egg situation

    There are currently 14 hydrogen filling stations in our country, not all of which are equipped for heavy trucks. The fact that there are few of those stations is an obstacle to investing in hydrogen trucks. And because there are few trucks on the road, it is not attractive to open a hydrogen filling station. Heijnen wants to break through this chicken-egg problem with a subsidy scheme. Subsidy is necessary, because investing in hydrogen trucks or buses is a lot more expensive than in their diesel brothers and sisters.

    The subsidy scheme is expected to start in early 2024. The core is that plans receive a subsidy if both a filling 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 the parties. In this way, supply and demand are created simultaneously, and profitable hydrogen filling stations can see the light of day in more and more places in the country.

    Important to take steps

    Elisabeth Post, Chairman of the Board of Transport and Logistics Netherlands: “It is important and good that investments are made in the infrastructure of zero-emission vehicles. This does not only apply to battery-electric vehicles, but certainly also to hydrogen-electric ones. It is therefore good that IenW is helping to take important steps in this direction. The challenge in the coming years will be to scale up quickly.”

    The € 22 million that Heijnen has earmarked for the subsidy scheme is estimated to be sufficient to get filling stations with accompanying trucks off the ground in 5 to 10 locations in the country. The exact number depends on the precise project proposals that are submitted. That is a good start, but more is needed to get hydrogen off the ground on a large scale and to achieve the climate goals. Heijnen is therefore exploring how more budget can be made available in the coming period.

    All trucks clean in 2050

    Together with more and more other countries, the Netherlands wants all new trucks to drive without exhaust fumes from 2040. This means that all trucks, which drive around for about 10 years on average, will be clean in 2050. Entrepreneurs can switch to a clean truck now and in the coming years with a subsidy. The cabinet is not only investing in hydrogen for transport, there are also plans for industry and heating homes.

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