The Northern Netherlands will definitely receive twenty hydrogen buses. They will drive in the provinces of Drenthe and Groningen. As reported by RTV Drenthe, the first buses for Drenthe and Groningen have already been ordered and will be put in use next year.
This afternoon, Minister Stientje Van Veldhoven (Environment and Housing), deputy Fleur Gräper (province of Groningen) and deputy Floor Vermeulen (province of South Holland) will sign the agreement in the Hague. The province of South Holland will also receive twenty hydrogen buses. The Emmen region is expected to have ten hydrogen buses. According to De Krant van Midden Drenthe, the total of 50 buses will start operating no later than 2021.
The deployment of 50 new hydrogen buses is important for making transport in the Netherlands more sustainable. Nitrogen buses are known for no tail-pipe emissions and can cover a distance of over 400 kilometers on one tank without burdening the climate and air quality.
Currently, there are 8 filling stations for hydrogen public buses in the country. One of them is located in Delfzijl, the province of Groningen. Since 2017, two buses have been running between Groningen and Delfzijl.
Minister Stientje Van Veldhoven envisions that the number of refueling stations will be boosted along the expansion of emission-free buses: ‘Nowadays there are few gas stations for hydrogen buses, but that is of course a chicken-and-egg story. These 50 buses will all be refueling later. That could be the boost that driving on hydrogen needs.’
First Hydrogen Valley in Europe
De Krant van Midden Drenthe quotes Deputy Fleur Gräper: ‘The buses and the hydrogen filling points are a fundamental building block for us in the hydrogen economy of the future. “Europe” also provides us with important support in this regard by designating ourselves as the first Hydrogen Valley in Europe and we are proud of that.’
The Hydrogen Valley project is being possible thanks to the cooperation between European institutions, the provinces of Groningen and South Holland and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. While the EU funds it with 7.5 million euros, the provinces and the Ministry each contribute 3.75 million euros. In addition, the provinces are also financially responsible for the operation of the buses.
100% emissions-free by 2030
From 2030 all public buses must run emission-free according to the national agreement signed in 2016. At the moment there are around 500 zero-emission buses in the Netherlands, mostly battery-electric.