The government of the Netherlands is allocating £125 million to enable entrepreneurs to transition to hydrogen (H).
The primary reason is that trucks and vans running on this gas produce no emissions and, moreover, do not entail long charging cycles or issues with the electrical grid.
This is expected to result in the creation of forty new hydrogen refuelling stations in the coming years and the deployment of several thousand hydrogen vehicles.
This positions H as a serious alternative for entrepreneurs who seek to transition cleanly, in addition to battery electric vehicles.
Secretary of State Heijnen remarked, “This could truly be a significant breakthrough for hydrogen. The promise has existed for years. H can be an ideal choice, especially for entrepreneurs who need to cleanly cover longer distances with heavier vehicles, such as trucks.”
“But there also needs to be a network of refuelling stations, and entrepreneurs must have ample options. It’s time for us to ensure that hydrogen lives up to its promise,” he added.
Grant for gas stations and vehicles
Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for this subsidy starting from March 2024.
Each application must include a gas station in the plan, including the purchase of a sufficient number of hydrogen trucks or vans to make the gas station profitable from the outset. On average, this typically requires between 10 and 15 hydrogen trucks.
In practice, this often means that transportation companies and gas station owners will collaborate to apply for a grant.
By providing a grant for the combination of gas stations and vehicles that need refueling, the debate over whether gas stations should come first to enable refueling or vehicles should come first is resolved.
For each hydrogen refueling station, entrepreneurs can receive a grant covering 40% of the construction costs of the station.
For each truck or van, this equates to 80% of the price difference compared to the diesel variant.
The condition for gas stations is that both trucks and cars can refuel at them, and they must be publicly accessible.
National Hydrogen Refuelling Station Network
The grant plan will be in effect from 2024 until 2028.
It is estimated that with the €125 million, approximately 40 modern refuelling stations can be constructed, complete with the necessary vehicles to operate the station profitably.
This will create a national network of hydrogen refuelling stations.
This aligns not only with the government’s goals but also with European objectives. Europe mandates the presence of hydrogen refuelling stations along all major European highways by 2030. For the Netherlands, this means at least 30 stations spread throughout the country.
Europe sets requirements for these stations, including factors such as size, capacity, and accessibility.
Currently, there are 17 hydrogen refuelling stations in the Netherlands, with four of them meeting the European requirements that will be enforced in 2030.