Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

07 May 2024

Since 2014 with the participation in the hydrogen mobility Europe program (H2ME), the Netherlands has been a testing ground for hydrogen mobility. After a successful learning phase (2015-2020), the Dutch government picked up the pace since 2020 with the publication of its first hydrogen strategy. Since then, the Netherlands has considerably accelerated the development of all aspects of the hydrogen value chain and especially for mobility.

Starting with the policies, the Dutch government presents clear targets across all sectors in the 2022 Hydrogen roadmap for the Netherlands. This roadmap segments the deployment of the hydrogen value chain in the country.

This roadmap translates into numbered targets. For hydrogen production, a 600MW electrolysis capacity installed by 2025, a 4GW target by 2030 and up to 8GW by 2032.

For mobility, a target of hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) is set. 50 HRS by 2025 and 100 HRS by 2030 to support a corresponding 300 000 hydrogen powered vehicle fleet by 2030.

Hydrogen takes on an even greater role in the decarbonization of the Dutch economy when put into the context of high electricity grid constraints. Where hydrogen offers an alternative for intensive use mobility applications taking load away from the electricity grid by providing a zero-emission mobility solution without the need for fast charging infrastructure.

The Dutch government has identified hydrogen mobility’s potential and strongly supports its deployment, both on the infrastructure side and the vehicle incentives. Aiming to bridge the cost gap between hydrogen and its competitors with a new tax on internal combustion engine commercial vehicle registration starting in 2025 and a dedicated hydrogen vehicle purchase incentive program aiming to come online by summer of 2024.

These measures come on top of a growing hydrogen ecosystem, 17 HRS strong with 7 more on the way. Overall, the Netherlands provides a favorable environment for the development of hydrogen mobility with substantial renewable energy resources, a repurposable gas network and a limited grid connection potential (source : TenneT TSO). This creates a promising environment for our Renault Master van H2-tech which has already put the wheels down on the Dutch asphalt in the hands of Dutch customers.

The Netherlands are one of the leading players in hydrogen mobility in Europe with strong ambitions and some already tangible achievements.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

Since their inclusion in the French Mobility Orientation Act in 2019, France’s Low Emission Zones (ZFE-m) have been the subject of much popular and political protest. To help you find your way through the mass of information about France’s ZFE-m, this article provides an overview of upcoming developments.

There are currently 11 active ZFE-m zones in France, in the following conurbations: Greater Paris, Rouen, Reims, Strasbourg, Greater Lyon, Grenoble, Saint-Étienne, Toulouse, Montpellier, Aix-Marseille and Nice. The law also sets out a deployment schedule to be followed by local authorities. This schedule includes a first series of restrictions in 2023 for unclassified and Crit’Air 5 vehicles, followed by two series of restrictions in 2024 and 2025 applicable to Crit’Air 4 and 3 vehicles.

A major change is planned for January 1, 2025, in accordance with Article 119 of the 2019 Mobility Orientation Law. On this date, the ZFE-m will be extended to all French communes with a population of 150,000, resulting in the creation of 33 new ZFE-ms across the country. This will affect 42% of the population living in a ZFE and 30% of the French car fleet.

However, the government has already introduced derogation measures for conurbations able to demonstrate that their air quality regularly complies with World Health Organization (WHO) standards. All conditions are detailed in Decree 2022-1641 of 12/23/2022.

Beyond 2025, we are looking at potentially more radical measures to improve air quality in urban areas. One envisaged development of the ZFE-m scheme is the creation of the Zero Emission Zone (ZZE), which would involve totally banning all non-electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles from entering an urban center. However, the ZZE is not currently considered a viable measure by local authorities, with the exception of Paris City Hall.

In order to clarify the discourse and accompany this change for the French, a parliamentary information report makes a series of recommendations to make the deployment of ZFEs fairer for citizens:

  • Reinforce information and facilitate access to information on EPZs at local and national level.
  • Create a portal.
  • Harmonize deployment schedules.
  • Offer mobility alternatives in urban areas.
  • Adapt measures to support the purchase of clean vehicles.
  • Extend zero-interest financing solutions offered by the French government for the purchase of clean vehicles.
  • Adapt measures to the needs of professional mobility.
  • Revise the Crit’Air system and restrictions to include weight and fuel consumption criteria, and integrate port and industrial zones into the ZFEs.

Following the conclusions of the parliamentary information report, at the end of June 2023 the government announced the reclassification of EPZs as “vigilance zones” for municipalities with 150,000 inhabitants with pollution levels below European standards. The ZFEs will be maintained by legal obligation only in 5 French conurbations (Greater Paris, Greater Lyon, Rouen, Strasbourg and Aix-Marseille) that regularly exceed the European regulatory threshold.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

Do you live in Paris, Lyon or their respective conurbations? In this article, you’ll find details of the traffic restrictions in the Low Emission Zones (ZFE) in these two conurbations:

The Greater Paris ZFE-m: First introduced in 2015, the ZFE-m initially covered only the Paris conurbation. Since July 1, 2019, the regulations have evolved to extend the geographical area of the ZFE-m to 77 communes in the Île-de-France region, included within the perimeter of the A86 motorway.

The first traffic restrictions came into force on July 1, 2019 for Crit’Air 5 and non-classified vehicles. A second phase of restrictions was introduced on June 1, 2021, with the addition of Crit’air 4 vehicles. A third phase of restrictions, initially scheduled for 2024, has been postponed to January 2025 and concerns Crit’air 3 vehicles.

Ultimately, by 2030, the aim of the Greater Paris ZFE-m is to have 100% clean vehicles on the road in the conurbation, thus complying with European limits on air pollution. This objective will be achieved through restrictions on Crit’Air 2 vehicles, allowing only Crit’Air 1 and 0 vehicles to circulate in the Greater Paris ZFE-m.

If you own a vehicle subject to traffic restrictions, here are the time slots for Greater Paris, by vehicle type:

  • Trucks: 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm.
  • Light commercial vehicles, passenger cars and two-wheelers: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., except on public holidays.

Greater Lyon’s ZFE-m: Coming into force on January 1, 2020, the Greater Lyon metropolitan area was one of the pioneers in the introduction of Low Emission Zones. Since January 2020, the Greater Lyon ZFE-m has covered five communes in the Lyon metropolitan area (Lyon, Caluire-et-Cuire, Villeurbanne, Bron and Vénissieux) within the limits of the M6, M7, the Northern ring road and the Laurent Bonnevay ring road.

Since 2020, the Lyon urban area has banned access and parking for unclassified LCVs and HGVs, as well as Crit’Air 3, 4 and 5 vehicles. All Crit’Air 5 and unclassified vehicles are also banned.

Coverage of the Lyon EPZ will be extended on January 1, 2024, with the inclusion of the above-mentioned peripheral roads in the Greater Lyon EPZ-m. Beyond 2024, Grand Lyon has published a timetable for the expansion of the Lyon EPZ, extending to 2028.

This timetable illustrates the future restrictions on vehicles. From 2025, all Crit’Air 3, 4, 5 and unclassified vehicles will be banned from entering the Lyon urban area. In 2028, all Crit’Air 3 vehicles will be added.

If you own a vehicle subject to traffic restrictions, unlike Greater Paris, the Greater Lyon conurbation restricts access to all types of vehicles concerned 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

The latest in our series of articles on French hydrogen infrastructure: the Vendée region and the network of multi-energy stations run by the Syndicat Départemental d’Énergie et d’Équipement de la Vendée (SYDEV).

SYDEV takes a diversified approach to alternative mobility, offering a system of “multi-energy” stations that combine green hydrogen, BioGNV and electric charging stations on a single site.

As far as hydrogen is concerned, SYDEV favors a short-circuit approach for its mobility system. Hydrogen is produced by electrolysis using an electrolyser located in Bouin. This electrolyzer is connected to the Bouin wind farm, managed by Vendée Énergie, to meet the hydrogen mobility needs of public transport in the Vendée region.

SYDEV currently operates two multi-energy stations in La Roche-sur-Yon, as well as a more recently installed station in Les Sables-d’Olonne. To recharge a vehicle with hydrogen, please contact SYDEV directly to set up a hydrogen supply contract. This contract will enable you to refuel at the station using a badge.

SYDEV continues to roll out its hydrogen infrastructure, with two stations soon to open in Challans and Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. In the longer term, SYDEV aims to reproduce the ecosystem set up in Bouin, with a view to multiplying production sites and hydrogen stations throughout the Vendée region.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

We continue our series of articles on hydrogen infrastructure in France with a focus on the network of hydrogen stations in the Île-de-France region.

Currently, the hydrogen infrastructure situation in the Île-de-France region is rather unusual, as several players share the hydrogen station network. Three major players are involved: Air Liquide owns two stations in the Paris region, HYPE owns one, and HysetCo, the main H2 infrastructure player in the region, operates four stations. This article will focus exclusively on HysetCo, the leader in hydrogen-powered mobility in the Paris region.

HysetCo was founded in 2017 by Air Liquide, Toyota France and Société du Taxi Electrique Parisien (STEP). Two years later, in 2019, Total Energies and Kouros joined the four historic shareholders. HysetCo operates a network of four hydrogen refueling stations and also manages a fleet of around 400 hydrogen vehicles, mainly Toyota Mirai, for passenger transport.

HysetCo is a key pioneer in the field of hydrogen refueling infrastructure. To recharge a vehicle with hydrogen on the HysetCo network, you need to contact HysetCo to sign a hydrogen supply contract. This contract will enable you to access the stations and fill up with hydrogen using a badge.

With the planned opening of a new station in Le Bourget by the end of 2023, HysetCo continues to grow, and this expansion will accelerate further with the integration of Air Liquide’s existing stations in the Paris region into the HysetCo network. In addition, HysetCo has just confirmed an order for 8 hydrogen stations with Air Liquide, with the aim of having 13 stations operational by the end of 2024.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

France’s hydrogen station network is unique in Europe, thanks to the diversity of its regional hydrogen station networks. In this series of articles dedicated to the French hydrogen infrastructure, we present the main players in the French hydrogen station network.

First up is HYmpulsion in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (AURA) region, one of the pillars of France’s hydrogen station network.

HYmpulsion is a commercial project created in 2018, aiming to set up a complete hydrogen mobility system within the “Zero Emission Valley”, a public-private cooperation project on the scale of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. HYmpulsion is financed by five major shareholders: the AURA region, Michelin, Engie, Crédit Agricole and Banque des Territoires. The project also benefits from 10 million euros in co-financing from the European Union.

HYmpulsion currently operates 5 stations in Chambéry, Vénissieux, Saint-Priest and Clermont-Ferrand. HYmpulsion also produces its own low-carbon hydrogen thanks to an electrolyzer installed in Grenoble.

To recharge a vehicle with hydrogen on the HYmpulsion network, you need to contact HYmpulsion to sign a hydrogen supply contract. This contract will enable you to access the stations and fill up with hydrogen, thanks to a badge supplied by HYmpulsion.

HYmpulsion’s ambitions can be summed up in a few figures: the installation of 20 stations and the creation of 3 low-carbon hydrogen production sites in Grenoble, Clermont-Ferrand and Bourgouin. The ultimate goal is to put 1,200 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road in the region.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

In the face of the climate crisis, battery-powered electric mobility is proving incapable of meeting all needs. This observation led to the creation of HYVIA, a joint venture between the French automotive group Renault and the American equipment manufacturer Plug, a specialist in hydrogen technologies. HYVIA is a pioneer and specialist in hydrogen-powered mobility for professionals.

HYVIA is reinventing professional mobility by offering complete turnkey solutions with zero emissions and no compromise on usage. It is based on a visionary approach to the mobility market and anticipates the need for carbon-free mobility for professional use.

HYVIA draws its strength from the expertise and industrial know-how of Groupe Renault, a leader in the commercial vehicle segment, and combines this unique know-how with Plug’s hydrogen expertise. HYVIA sets itself apart by offering a complete ecosystem encompassing production, distribution and hydrogen-powered vehicles, solutions tailored to society’s changing needs.

HYVIA offers a complete range of hydrogen mobility solutions 100% assembled in France. Headquartered in Villiers-Saint-Frédéric (78), HYVIA manufactures fuel cells at the HYVIA Flins plant (78), and Renault Master chassis at the Renault Batilly plant (54) and converted at Renault Véhicule Innovation in Gretz-Armainvilliers (77).

The result is the Renault Master van, chassis cab H2-tech, a range of electric-hydrogen commercial vehicles offering greater autonomy and rapid refuelling in 5 minutes. Thanks to this technology, companies can green their vehicle fleets while benefiting from increased efficiency and productivity.

HYVIA offers a flexible solution to meet the specific sustainable mobility needs of its customers. Whether for professional vehicle fleets or industrial applications, Hyvia implements tailor-made solutions to contribute to the decarbonization of professional mobility, giving priority to hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources.

HYVIA contributes to reducing the overall carbon footprint of its solutions thanks to its expertise and forward-looking vision. It offers sustainable mobility solutions that respect the environment.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

In a global context marked by growing environmental concerns, the automotive industry is turning resolutely towards innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions. Renault, an industry giant at the forefront of innovation, stands out in particular for its commitment to hydrogen, embodied by HYVIA and Alpine, which are very active in the hydrogen segment. The French carmaker is positioning itself as a pioneer in the sector.

In 2012, Renault took its first steps into hydrogen mobility with the Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogène. The HY Kangoo project, developed in conjunction with French hydrogen supplier Symbio between 2012 and 2019, led to the creation of this vehicle. The Kangoo Z.E. Hydrogen is similar in every way to the electric Kangoo, with the exception of a hydrogen fuel cell that powers the battery directly. With a range of 350 km, i.e. 140 km further than the battery version, it offered interesting prospects. This first experience with hydrogen vehicles laid the foundations for hydrogen LCVs within the Group. It was not until 2021 that Renault returned to the forefront of the hydrogen scene with the creation of HYVIA, a joint venture between Renault Group and Plug dedicated to this technology.

HYVIA is not the only Renault group entity exploring hydrogen. Alpine, Renault’s premium sports car subsidiary, is also involved in this field with the Alpenglow project. The aim of this project is to develop a racing car equipped with a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine, highlighting the performance and efficiency of this technology in the world of motor racing. In this way, Alpine is striving to push back the limits of hydrogen and demonstrate the viability of hydrogen combustion technology.

The Renault brand itself is beginning to get directly involved in hydrogen with the Scénic Vision concept. This concept takes a different approach, focusing on circularity and respect for the environment. It embodies Renault’s vision for the future of sustainable mobility by integrating a fuel cell at the heart of its powertrain.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

Plug is emerging as a world leader in hydrogen technology. Founded in 1997, the US company is at the forefront of the hydrogen economy with innovative and environmentally friendly solutions. Plug is now a major player in the transition to a zero-emission economy.

Plug is driven by a forward-thinking vision: a world powered by clean, renewable energy. Guided by the goal of reducing the industry’s CO2 emissions while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, the company has focused its efforts on developing hydrogen solutions for warehouse logistics, energy distribution infrastructures and, more recently, professional mobility.

Plug is an OEM and turnkey solutions provider covering the entire hydrogen value chain. The company offers electrolysers, distribution stations, hydrogen fuel cells, liquefaction and cryogenic transport solutions. Plug’s technology powers a wide range of vehicles, from forklift trucks to light commercial vehicles.

In addition, Plug operates as an electrolysis capacity operator, enabling it to be present across the entire hydrogen value chain, from renewable hydrogen production to distribution and end-use applications. Plug has ambitious hydrogen production targets, aiming to produce 500 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per day worldwide by 2025, and 1,000 tonnes per day in the US by 2028. This would position Plug as one of the major players in the global production of renewable hydrogen.

Plug’s global approach and the variety of hydrogen solutions it offers help to reduce the carbon footprint of the activities of its customers, 80% of whom are leading companies, while offering operational benefits.

To achieve its ambitious goals, Plug is forging strategic partnerships with vehicle manufacturers, hydrogen suppliers, renewable energy capacity operators and technology leaders. These alliances strengthen Plug’s position as a key player in the hydrogen economy.

In addition to strategic partnerships, Plug is investing directly in large-scale projects:

  • a Gigafactory in Rochester, New York, with a current electrolyser production capacity of 100 MW per month, which will eventually produce 2.5 GW of electrolysis capacity each year.
  • Three renewable hydrogen production plants in Finland, with 2.2 GW of electrolysis capacity producing 850 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per day by the end of the decade, representing an investment of six billion dollars.

By deploying its solutions around the world, Plug is making a direct contribution to climate objectives. This commitment to sustainability and social responsibility reinforces Plug’s reputation as a responsible corporate citizen.

Today, Plug is a major player in the hydrogen economy, with its environmentally friendly technologies and expertise in hydrogen production and distribution. With its visionary approach and strategic partnerships, the company is playing a key role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Through its commitment to hydrogen, Plug is helping to shape a cleaner, more sustainable and brighter future for our planet.


Hydrogen mobility in the Netherlands – a 2024 reality at the heart of Europe

23 January 2024

Our world is facing a climate emergency, and environmental commitments are multiplying, with the primary objective of reducing CO2 emissions, going as far as carbon neutrality by the middle of the century in some cases. This is the case of the European Union, which is aiming to make its economy carbon neutral by 2050.

To achieve these objectives, it is essential to initiate an energy transition by speeding up the development of zero-emission alternatives for the needs of economic activity. Promising solutions have been emerging for nearly a decade. However, it is also clear that these solutions are subject to severe constraints, as illustrated by the example of battery-powered electric mobility.

Electric mobility does not seem to be able to meet all mobility needs, leaving a gap in terms of carbon-free solutions. This is where hydrogen has a role to play in the energy transition, complementing other low-carbon solutions. A major advantage of hydrogen is its flexibility of use. Hydrogen is a storage energy that can be produced, stored and subsequently used in a number of ways, whether as a replacement for natural gas, in a fuel cell or as the basis for creating hydrocarbon chains, etc.

This flexibility makes hydrogen useful in many industrial applications, where it can be burned as a substitute for natural gas, notably for heating in the manufacture of steel and other metals. Hydrogen can also be used in chemistry, where it is used to create derivative molecules such as methanol and ammonia, synthetic fuels such as petrol and diesel, fertilisers and so on.

Hydrogen also has applications in stationary energy production, replacing diesel generators and generators. The molecule is also used to compensate for the intermittent nature of renewable energies by converting excess electricity production into hydrogen, which can then be re-transformed and fed back into the grid in the form of electricity when consumption peaks.

Finally, hydrogen plays a key role in the transport sector, in a number of ways. Initially, it is helping to decarbonise air transport through the use of e-kerosene, a hydrogen-based synthetic fuel. In the longer term, we should see the emergence of decarbonised aviation through the use of fuel cells for short- and medium-haul flights, as well as the direct use of hydrogen for long-haul flights.

Hydrogen is also being used in rail transport, particularly on railway lines that have not yet been electrified and that currently run on diesel locomotives.

The use of hydrogen in road mobility is also emerging, as a complement to battery technology, particularly for applications requiring long range, where batteries cannot guarantee continuity of activity, as is the case for heavy construction equipment, trucks and light commercial vehicles, and to a lesser extent, for personal mobility.

In short, hydrogen is capable of replacing fossil fuels in many industrial processes and activities, enabling business continuity while reducing CO2 emissions. However, its environmental usefulness is proven if and only if the origin of the hydrogen is certified and if we can guarantee that the hydrogen used is produced from renewable electricity or natural gas coupled with carbon capture methods”.