Electric trucks are becoming more and more prevalent. Yet, no one has requested funding to buy a hydrogen vehicle in a recent round of subsidies, indicating that driving on hydrogen is not very common. The cabinet is still spending millions on the development of hydrogen truck filling stations, nevertheless.

The Netherlands will soon have 400 more emission-free trucks on the road thanks to a subsidy programme, the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management rejoiced last week in a press release. The government continued, “It affects battery and hydrogen-electric trucks.

Yet, data from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) reveals that no application for a hydrogen truck subsidy has ever been made. Thus a battery will be installed in each of the 400 zero-emission trucks. All 1,200 applicants who were unsuccessful because the subsidy fund ran out in a day want an electric truck.

Nine hydrogen truck subsidies were asked for a year ago. At the time, that represented 3% of the total. The ministry continues to place a high priority on infrastructure for hydrogen trucks, thus the low numbers are startling. In the Netherlands, there are currently fifteen hydrogen filling stations, however not all of them can accommodate trucks.

To build five to ten additional filling stations, State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen will allot 22 million euros in the upcoming fiscal year. A filling station is only eligible for a subsidy if corresponding trucks are also bought. Such filling stations are still required, according to the ministry, for trucks that travel farther distances.

By 2035, practically all trucks will be electrically propelled, according to recent TNO research. The researchers predict it is also significantly less expensive than using diesel or hydrogen as a fuel.

Just 0.2% of the trucks do not have a battery as an alternative. The range is insufficient because they travel such great distances. So it’s possible that hydrogen trucks will have a little role in the future, said TNO. It also affects how quickly charging facilities for electric trucks can be constructed.

According to RVO statistics, 27 hydrogen trucks were travelling in the Netherlands as of the end of February. Amazingly, there was one fewer than there was in December. The fleet of electric trucks in the Netherlands now numbers more than 400, and this figure is rising quickly.

It is now evident that batteries have defeated hydrogen in the market for passenger cars. The Netherlands has 341,000 fully electric vehicles on the road, compared to just 597 hydrogen-powered vehicles.

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