Hydrogen is the lightest, smallest, and simplest element. It consists of one proton and one electron. Because it is so light, it can be used to fill a balloon that will rise immediately. In 1766, scientist Henry Cavendish succeeded in identifying hydrogen. As a gas (H2), hydrogen is colorless, odorless, non-corrosive, non-oxidizing, non-radioactive, and non-toxic.
Hydrogen does not occur naturally and must be made by separating the hydrogen atoms from other molecules, for example from natural gas (CH4) or from water (H2O). This requires energy. The result is the energy-rich molecule hydrogen. When heat is applied – a flame – hydrogen reacts with oxygen and forms water again. This releases a significant amount of energy (125 MJ per kilo of hydrogen: 3.5 times as much as a liter of gasoline). Due to the violent reaction upon combustion, hydrogen was also called detonating gas.
There is no shortage of hydrogen – not at this moment and not in the near future. International scaling will lower prices and increase availability. The fear that there will not be enough hydrogen available for the Netherlands in the future is unfounded. In 2022, the Netherlands joined the H2Global initiative – to import green hydrogen on a very large scale together with Germany. Germany has already made €900 million available and “according to reports, it concerns hundreds of millions of euros from the Dutch side”. The first import is expected in 2024! The Rotterdam port has been playing a major role in this for a year now and they anticipate a very rapid increase in hydrogen imports from 2025.
A hydrogen car is essentially an electric car, but with a much smaller battery. The car uses hydrogen (H2) as an energy source. In the car’s fuel cell, this gas reacts with the sucked-in air. This process releases a lot of electricity, which drives the electric motor. Hydrogen leaves the exhaust as water vapor; a hydrogen car is therefore free of harmful emissions.
There seems to be a tribal war between hydrogen fans and battery believers. We believe that both technologies are promising. For small amounts and short periods of storage, batteries are cheaper. But: the more charging stations that are added to the public space for all these battery-electric cars, the less parking space is left. And when it comes to larger amounts of energy that also needs to be stored for a longer period or transported over long distances, hydrogen is the champion!
There is also a debate about the presence of sufficient sustainable electricity to produce hydrogen. We already do not have enough sustainable electricity for “normal” use in the Netherlands. At the same time, we also have peak moments with too much electricity. For small amounts, it is cheaper to store electricity in batteries. For larger amounts, hydrogen is better suited.
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. In a few years, a lot of hydrogen will be produced in areas close to the equator. And closer to home, countries such as Spain and Greece will become important suppliers of sustainable electricity and hydrogen. Iceland, Greenland, and Norway are also warming up to export green hydrogen. In the southern countries, the yield from sun and wind is much greater, making the production and transport of hydrogen profitable.
In short: Hydrogen-electric and battery-electric are not competitors, but complementary technologies, each with their own applications…
Individuals can apply for the Subsidy Scheme for Electric Passenger Cars for Individuals (SEPP subsidy) at RVO. This scheme applies to new and used electric (and thus also hydrogen) passenger cars. This subsidy can be applied for from January 10, 2023, 9:00 a.m. and will continue until the subsidy amount is exhausted – https://www.rvo.nl/subsidies-financiering/sepp
For companies and entrepreneurs, the Emission-free Commercial Vehicles Subsidy Scheme (SEBA – https://www.rvo.nl/subsidies-financiering/seba) and the Environmental Investment Allowance (MIA) or the Random Depreciation of Environmental Investments (Vamil) (https://www.rvo.nl/subsidies-financiering/mia-vamil/ondernemers/aanvragen) apply.
Our Fountain Fuels are recognizable by the iconic, sustainable wooden canopy. We made a timelapse film of the construction of our first canopy in Amersfoort.
At our locations, you can both refuel with hydrogen and fast charge your electric vehicle. In addition to refueling and charging, you can also find other facilities with us, such as healthy food, collaboration spaces, or a new-style truck stop. So we provide energy to vehicles and people at our Fountain Fuel locations! We will keep you informed of the planning of this station and our other locations on our location page and on LinkedIn.
*We can expand to 2 x 350 bar and 4 x 700 bar at our locations.
Electric fast charging:
To build a Fountain Fuel, we need a location of 3500-5000 m2. We ensure that our energy stations can be used by both passenger cars and freight transport. And on the site, you will always find some additional facilities such as a shop, coworking space, or truck stop. Check out the ‘Do you have a suggestion?’ page for more information on what a location for Fountain Fuel should meet.
We work with robust partners who deliver proven quality. Such as Linde Engineering for our hydrogen technology, and Allego for the fast charging points at our stations. Of course, we also work together with municipalities to obtain locations. Fountain Fuel is co-financed by the European Union, through the ELENA and CEF programs.
So we have partners within the business community (suppliers, builders, advisory clubs, car companies), governments (location owners and subsidy providers), and financiers (such as banks). Check the overview of partners on the ‘about us‘ page.
To combat climate change, more and more sustainable energy is being produced. Storage and distribution of sustainable energy is crucial. Much can be done with battery-electric, but without hydrogen, the energy transition will come to a standstill. In mobility, hydrogen will play a crucial role.
Do you want to read more about our vision and ambitions? Download our brochure.