Province of Groningen and Hive.Mobility partners invest – with Nationaal Programma Groningen – in smart and sustainable transport

Four mobility projects from the provincial program receive funding from Nationaal Programma Groningen. This concerns the Hive Mobility Center, five field labs for autonomous transport, the conversion of two Qliner long-distance buses to hydrogen and an emission-free eight-person wheelchair accessible public transport bus on hydrogen. Groningen Provincial Executives Nienke Homan and Fleur Gräper-van Koolwijk presented the projects this afternoon, together with partners Hive.Mobility, OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe and Qbuzz. Nearly € 10 million from Nationaal Programma Groningen is for the four projects.

Hive.Mobility gets its own place

On the Zernike Campus in Groningen, Hive.Mobility will have its own location in the Hive Mobility Center. The center is the gateway for strengthening and promoting smart and green mobility initiatives and developing new solutions. It will be a place where professionals share and further develop their knowledge and applications, where students are trained or conduct research and where employees can undergo additional training or retraining. The innovation center will also be accessible to the public, both for professionals and residents, so that everyone can see and experience what is happening in our region in the field of smart and green mobility.

Field labs autonomous transport

Field labs are practice-oriented test locations. There will be five permanent field labs where tests will be conducted with combined efforts for the further development of autonomous transport with the aim of using it in daily practice. The Northern Netherlands is the only region in Europe working on projects in the field of road, water, air, rail and pipe (hyperloop). This gives us a unique position and with these field labs we will become the first European hub for autonomous transport. The field labs will work together, exchange knowledge and share test areas. Later on, the combination will also be made with the European Hyperloop Center near Meerstad.

Buses on green hydrogen

Public bus transport in the Netherlands must be emission-free by 2030. Groningen is a frontrunner in this regard. The Province of Groningen is, together with Qbuzz and OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe, now investing in the conversion of two Qliner long-distance buses and a Zero Emission (ZE) bus for eight people. Most buses run on electricity stored in batteries. This technique is insufficiently applicable for the Qliners and the coach industry due to the long distances and high speed (100 km/h). Additional use of green hydrogen can be a solution. It is still difficult for small buses to drive emission-free because of the weight. The ZE bus on green hydrogen remains below the weight limit, so that it can be driven with a normal driver’s license. The knowledge gained in these two projects will be used to make public bus transport in Groningen fully sustainable in the coming years.