DATS 24 opens third H2 filling station near Louvain

DATS 24, Colruyt Group’s energy and fuel supplier, is opening its third H2 filling station at the Researchpark in Haasrode (near Louvain). With this opening, “DATS 24 emphasizes its belief in hydrogen as a fuel for electric vehicles”, says a press release. “Besides industrial and logistics applications, hydrogen also has a role to play in the decarbonization of transport and mobility,” the release adds.

Raf Flebus, Business Unit Manager of DATS 24, emphasizes a positive story: “Hydrogen will play an essential role in the industry, logistics processes, and transport activities. We also sincerely believe that electric driving will become the norm. For a majority of Belgians, this will eventually be feasible.”

“This first hydrogen filling station in Leuven fits in with the pioneering role we want to play in making Leuven a climate-neutral city,” adds Mohamed Ridouani, the mayor of Louvain. “It is a great example of how we as a city work together with companies and partners to realize concrete initiatives like this.”

Complementary to BEVs

“It’s crucial to get as many people as possible on board for the transition to emission-free driving. And hydrogen will certainly have its place in this, alongside battery-electric driving. In a number of circumstances, hydrogen-electric can play off its complementary role with battery-electric,” Flebus continues.

“For example, when the electricity grid is congested or when charging is taking place in a higher-density urban context where apartment buildings are the main form of housing. This often prevents the installation of its own charging infrastructure, today an essential condition for the switch to battery-electric driving. And finally, hydrogen-electric driving is less dependent on certain rare materials.”

“Sustainability remains the guiding principle in everything we do. Colruyt Group gives us the space to take up our pioneering role, and that is quite unique,” Flebus adds. This means that we continue investing in producing and distributing renewable energy and fuels.”

“Driving on hydrogen offers a combination of unique advantages: fast refueling, emission-free driving, no infrastructure adjustments at the user’s site, and a guaranteed electric range of 650 to 700 km, in all circumstances and at any time. All you need is an H2 filling station nearby. That has now been arranged for Leuven and the surrounding area,” Flebus concludes.

Richard Ferrer, Head of the Alternative Fuels Sector at CINEA, the European Agency for Climate Infrastructure and the Environment, also makes the conscious link to the decarbonization of transport: “A green energy mix coupled with a reliable alternative fuels supply network for transport is key to contribute reaching Green Deal objectives and carbon neutrality in Europe by 2050.”

“Today, opening this hydrogen refueling station in Haasrode is not only beneficial at local, regional, and national level, it is instrumental in deploying a seamless and decarbonized European transport network.”

European H2 corridor

The hydrogen filling station was built with the support of the H2Benelux program, coordinated by WaterstofNet and part of the Connecting Europe Facility program, to significantly expand the existing public hydrogen fuelling infrastructure and hydrogen vehicle fleet in the Benelux. After Halle, Wilrijk, and Haasrode, DATS 24 will soon open H2 stations in Erpe-Mere (East-Flanders province), Herve (Liège province) and Ollignies (Hainaut province).

DATS 24 believes it can play an important role. That’s why it brought in other hydrogen pioneers Toyota, Hyundai, and fleet partner ALD Automotive, for a workshop for all the companies at Research Park Haasrode on the benefits of H2.

Ann Larosse, CSR & Innovation Manager at ALD Automotive Belgium, is committed to ensuring room for hydrogen cars in every company fleet: “As a global leader in leasing and mobility, it is our responsibility to support new technologies that contribute to sustainable mobility.”

“We have, therefore, developed a total contract that makes hydrogen cars accessible and affordable for interested companies. For them, this is a logical addition to their battery-electric cars,” she concludes.

Currently, there are five hydrogen filling stations in Belgium, DATS 24 plans to open another three soon /DATS 24
The European H2 corridor is being built up

 

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