Trucks and vans that run on hydrogen. They are clean. Have a large range. And they do not cause long charging cycles or problems with the power grid. The government is therefore allocating €125 million to enable entrepreneurs to make the switch to hydrogen. This is expected to result in forty new hydrogen filling stations in the coming years, and up to several thousand hydrogen vehicles. This makes hydrogen a serious alternative for entrepreneurs who want to move forward in a clean manner, in addition to electric battery-powered driving. Today, State Secretary Heijnen announced the hydrogen subsidy scheme, which is now being consulted.
State Secretary Heijnen: “Hydrogen can really make a breakthrough with this. The promise of hydrogen has been there for years. Hydrogen can be ideal, especially for entrepreneurs who want to drive cleanly over longer distances with a heavier car, for example a truck. But then there must be petrol stations and there must be enough choice for entrepreneurs. It is time for us to ensure that hydrogen delivers on its promise.”
End of chicken and egg: subsidy for gas stations and cars
Entrepreneurs can apply for this subsidy from March 2024. Each application must include one gas station in the plan, including the purchase of enough trucks or vans to make the gas station profitable from the start. On average, 10-15 hydrogen trucks are needed for this. In practice, this will often mean that transport companies and petrol station owners join forces in a subsidy application. By granting a subsidy for the combination of gas stations and the vehicles that need to refuel, the chicken-and-egg discussion comes to an end as to whether you should first have gas stations so that you can refuel, or cars first so that you can then build a profitable gas station.
For each hydrogen filling station, entrepreneurs can receive a subsidy of 40% of the costs for the construction of the filling station. Per truck or van this amounts to 80% of the difference in price with a diesel variant. The condition for the petrol stations is that both trucks and passenger cars can refuel there and that they are publicly accessible.
The subsidy scheme runs from 2024-2028. With the 125 million, an estimated 40 modern filling stations can be built, with the vehicles needed to run the station profitably. This will create a nationwide network of hydrogen filling stations. This is not only what the government wants, but also in line with European objectives. Europe demands that hydrogen filling stations be found along all European main highways by 2030. For our country there must be at least 30, spread across the entire country. Europe sets requirements for these stations, for example in terms of size, capacity and accessibility. There are currently 17 hydrogen filling stations in the Netherlands, four of which meet the European requirements that apply in 2030.
In the coming years, truck and van manufacturers will increasingly focus on hydrogen. This is still in its infancy at the moment; There are a handful of hydrogen-powered trucks and vans driving around in the Netherlands. Hydrogen-powered passenger cars have been around for some time, there are about six hundred of them on the road.
Subsidy scheme for Hydrogen in Mobility
With the Hydrogen in Mobility Subsidy Scheme, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is giving a boost to both the refueling infrastructure for hydrogen and its purchase by carriers. It will be possible to apply for subsidies for the realization of hydrogen filling stations and for the additional costs of purchasing hydrogen vehicles. The focus is on heavy logistics transport.
What is the goal?
The goal is to stimulate zero-emission mobility through hydrogen as a full-fledged option in addition to battery-electric transport. It is important to break the stalemate between the rollout of vehicle and fuel infrastructure, with the aim of contributing to the objectives for a nationwide network of hydrogen filling stations that arise from the Climate Agreement and the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation. The combination of vehicle and tank infrastructure ensures a basic purchase of hydrogen.
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