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Dutch government allocates €125 million to promote hydrogen-powered transport

The Dutch government has allocated €125 million to promote the use of hydrogen-powered lorries and vans in the country. The subsidy scheme will run from 2024 to 2028 and is expected to result in the construction of 40 new hydrogen filling stations and the purchase of up to several thousand hydrogen vehicles.

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The grant scheme is designed to solve the chicken-and-egg problem of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and vehicles. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for a grant to build a hydrogen refuelling station and purchase enough HGVs or LGVs to make the refuelling station profitable from the start.

The grant will be given for both the station and the vehicles.

For each hydrogen refuelling station, entrepreneurs can receive a grant of 40% of the cost of building the refuelling station. For each vehicle, this amounts to 80% of the difference in price compared to a diesel version.

Filling stations must be able to refuel both trucks and cars and must be accessible to the public.

The Dutch government is aiming to create a nationwide network of hydrogen filling stations. This is not only what the government wants, but also in line with European objectives. The EU demands hydrogen filling stations be found along all European main highways by 2030. For the Netherlands, there must be at least 30, spread across the entire country. The EU sets requirements for these stations, for example in terms of size, capacity and accessibility.

There are currently 17 hydrogen refuelling stations in the Netherlands, four of which meet the European requirements for 2030. It is expected that truck and van manufacturers will increasingly rely on hydrogen in the coming years. However, the market is still in its infancy, with only a handful of hydrogen-powered trucks and vans currently on the road in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch government.

Hydrogen-powered passenger cars have been around for some time, with about six hundred of them on the road.

State Secretary Heijnen, who is responsible for the subsidy scheme, commented on the scheme as follows:

“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.”