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“If Hydrogen Works for a Garbage Truck, it Works for Everything” – Netherlands

netherlands hydrogen garbage truck
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“If hydrogen works for a garbage truck, it works for everything” – Netherlands.

The municipality of Groningen collects residual waste with a hydrogen-powered garbage truck. They do this through the HECTOR project, which is part of the Interreg North West Europe (NWE) programme. 

Michel Doornbos, asset manager machine and vehicle fleet said:

We want to learn how these types of vehicles perform in practice.

Cleaner air in the city

Groningen is working on an emission-free city center in 2025. “A challenge for city management,” says Doornbos. 

“We carry out all kinds of work in the city center with heavy, mobile equipment. These tools demand so much power that electric batteries are not enough. We saw hydrogen as a possible solution. We tested the effectiveness with the waste collector, because it requires the most power. If the waste collector can complete a working day, then it will work with all the tools.”

Battery charges during work

There are 2300 underground containers for household waste in the city centre. The garbage truck pulls these containers out of the ground with a crane and compresses the waste.

“The waste collector converts hydrogen into electricity and charges the battery during the work. As a result, the battery runs out less quickly than usual.”

Results HECTOR

The results of the project are promising. “The international cooperation stimulates the hydrogen economy at European level and is instructive. We have learned that we can reduce harmful emissions by using hydrogen as a fuel.”

“In Germany, for example, there is a garbage truck that performs well and is used as much as possible. The technology is still under development and legislative changes are required. Awareness is also important: we do this for a reason.”

Subsidy from Interreg

HECTOR is part of the Interreg North West Europe (NWE) programme. 7 cities are participating. The project must demonstrate that hydrogen-powered garbage trucks are a good solution for reducing harmful emissions. The municipality receives a subsidy from the European Interreg fund for participation.

Doornbos also advises other organizations to make use of the subsidy. “It is a financial incentive. The subsidy helps if you want to take steps with hydrogen. You can use it to reimburse part of the costs for vehicle parts.”

Join Interreg

Do you want to make Europe more sustainable and more resilient to climate change? Or are you looking for partners to roll out an innovation? Interreg offers entrepreneurs, researchers and the government the opportunity to collaborate internationally on sustainable projects.

READ the latest news shaping the hydrogen market at Hydrogen Central

“If hydrogen works for a garbage truck, it works for everything”, November 17, 2022

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