The North creates the new hydrogen economy with transport at the forefront

Official opening of the new hydrogen filling station in Groningen, with 20 new hydrogen buses.

On Friday 11 June, the new hydrogen filling station at the Qbuzz bus parking facility on Peizerweg in Groningen was taken into use. Twenty new hydrogen buses were also presented. Groningen Provincial Executive Fleur Gräper – van Koolwijk performed the opening ceremony in the presence of Qbuzz director Gerrit Spijksma, director of OV-bureau Wilko Mol and Lisa Montanari, Hydrogen Commercial Manager of Shell Netherlands.

The new hydrogen filling station is one of the largest in Europe and is part of a bigger development, the realization of the new hydrogen economy in the North. The deployment of these 20 hydrogen-powered buses means a strong increase in the use of green hydrogen. This helps to provide a kick-start of supply and demand. Fleur Gräper – van Koolwijk adds: “Today, another big step, or rather a big leap, has been made in the introduction of green hydrogen as a successor to fossil fuels such as diesel oil and natural gas. Hydrogen works, hydrogen is becoming normal and will be the future of the Northern Netherlands.

A parking facility for buses with new energy carriers together on one site

The filling station has two filling points. A bus is refuelled in less than ten minutes and can cover about 400 kilometres. The hydrogen buses can be used on longer routes in regional transport where an electric bus with batteries is not always suitable. With this, Qbuzz shows how battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles are a valuable addition to each other in mobility. Gerrit Spijksma states: “There is now a bus parking facility in Groningen that makes it possible to switch over compactly and efficiently to the energy carriers of the future: green electricity and green hydrogen. A type of parking facility like this is unique at the moment.

We just started building

Shell has built the hydrogen filling point and supplies the green hydrogen that can be refuelled there. The hydrogen is delivered by trailer. “Before refuelling, the hydrogen is still compressed and cooled. This all happens at the filling point, which is situated next to the large number of battery-electric buses from Qbuzz. A good example of the different options for cleaner transport that Qbuzz offers”, says Lisa Montanari, Commercial Manager Hydrogen at Shell. “We use certified green hydrogen here until we can produce green hydrogen ourselves. In addition, we regularly test the filling point to ensure that it functions as optimally as possible. Together we show that we won’t wait for the hydrogen economy. We just started building.

Further greening

OV-bureau and Qbuzz want to make an extra effort in the coming years to make all buses greener. Wilko Mol about this: “We would really like to have a number of Qliners run on hydrogen. There are just no coaches that run on hydrogen yet. It would be great if we also had the scoop in Groningen of the first hydrogen coach that travels really large distances in one day. Then 800 kilometres a day is no exception.”

The JIVE and JIVE2 projects have received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCHJU) under grant agreements nos. 735582 and 779563. This program is part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program from the European Union, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.