Martin Maatkamp H2Drive, Source:

Stimulus packages make driving a hydrogen vehicle in Arnhem more accessible

Stimulus packages make driving a hydrogen vehicle in Arnhem more accessible

70 new H2 cars contribute to cleaner air in the Dutch region

Since last December, over 70 new hydrogen-powered vehicles have appeared on the streets of Arnhem, Netherlands. This has been possible thanks to the H2-Drive initiative, implemented jointly by the municipality of Arnhem and the province of Gelderland, reported local authorities.

With H2-Drive, people can request H2-stimulation packages, which makes the leasing of or buying a hydrogen car more accessible.

Why opt-in for hydrogen?

Both the Province of Gelderland and the Municipality of Arnhem have been promoting sustainable energy in various ways, with the objective to improve air quality in the region. One way to do this is by subsidies.

The administrations invited market actors to submit a proposal on how to increase the number of hydrogen cars in Arnhem and the surrounding area. A group of 5 cooperating organizations worked out the best plan for this and received a subsidy. The consortium, which consists of Glow Communication, H4 Lease, Herwers, Kiemt Foundation and KplusV, came up with H2-Drive.

Their plan offers a 50% discount on refuelling and other benefits. This offer was intended for people who live and/or work at a maximum of 30 kilometres from the centre of Arnhem

The deputy manager of Van Dorp Zevenaar (a Dutch-based technical services provider) Martin Maatkamp (pictured) explained why his company purchased 2 cars powered with hydrogen. He said that Van Dorp now has the highest level of the Dutch CO2 performance ladder – level 5.

These efforts therefore called for the need to make their fleet sustainable as well. In addition to the lower emissions and dust particle levels, companies are attracted by the fast refuelling times of hydrogen vehicles (from 3 to 5 minutes) and their long driving range (500 to 665 kilometres).

Covid-19 put the breaks on H2-Drive, hopefully temporarily

On July 24, the H2-Drive project and the possibility to request an H2 stimulus package had to make an unscheduled pit-stop. The original goal was set to 90 new hydrogen cars operating in and around Arnhem. Unfortunately, it could not be reached due to the Covid-19 crisis, which halted dramatically the sale of new cars and thus also hydrogen cars.

Be as it may, both administrations are happy with the result of 70 new hydrogen vehicles for the Arnhem region. Jan van der Meer, Deputy for the Energy Transition and Environment of the Province of Gelderland summarised it as follows “With this project, we have taken another step forward to the switch to sustainable energy. Hydrogen offers potential, especially for heavier transport and industry”.

At the launch of the project, Alderman for Sustainability Cathelijne Bouwkamp of the Municipality of Arnhem formulated a dilemma by claiming that there are few hydrogen cars in the Netherlands because there are few fuelling stations, and respectively - there are few fuelling stations because there are few cars. However, the Arnhem region is fortunate because there is a great deal of hydrogen knowledge, which is why it makes perfect sense to implement H2 here.



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