25 Jul 2019


As part of the concession for the northern part of the Netherlands earlier won by Dutch operator Qbuzz, it now has placed an order for 20 fuel cell buses at Belgium manufacturer Van Hool. Also the transport authority OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe has granted Shell the order to build a hydrogen filling station in the city Groningen as well the contract to supply the hydrogen.

The transport authority OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe responsible for the concession won by Qbuzz, has now assigned the operator to order these 20 fuel cell buses. For this concession Qbuzz had earlier placed orders for in total 164 electric buses. The 20 Van Hool fuel cell buses will come into operation in December 2020. The fuel cell buses will have a range of 350 to 400 kilometre. Due to this extended range the 20 Van Hool's will be running on intercity routes in the provinces Drenthe and Groningen.

Filip Van Hool, CEO at Van Hool: "This is the second largest order for hydrogen buses, after the 40 hydrogen buses for Cologne-Wüppertal, since Van Hool started designing, developing and building hydrogen buses in 2005.” Van Hool has already built or is producing 131 hydrogen buses for North America (21) and Europe (110). The transport authority and Qbuzz already have been running a pilot project with two Van Hool fuel cell buses since December 2017.

In this northern part of the country there is now only one hydrogen filling station in the city Delfzijl, but this is an industrial plant owned by the company Nouryon, made suitable to accommodate the fuel cell buses. To avoid the extra afford of having to drive 35 kilometres to the filling station in Delfzijl, the transport authority has planned the filling station in the city Groningen for which Shell has won the contract.

The pilot project and the 20 new buses and filling station are financed by the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure, the EU via the project FCHJU (HighVLOCity en JIVE2) and the provinces Groningen and Drenthe.

Bus transport in Groningen and Drenthe is from December 2019 for an important part zero-emission and gives 90% less CO₂ emissions.

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