The energy and climate transition are in full swing. It is an important point on the (inter)national agenda. The Paris Agreement and the Climate agreement in our country have rightfully set ambitious goals and the warnings from the recently published IPCC-rapport are taken seriously. More than ever people are feeling the necessity of a safe and healthy living environment. We need to make our energy supply more sustainable and mobility plays an important role in this. Fossil fuels are polluting and emit a lot of CO2. Therefore, all new cars sold in the Netherlands must be zero-emission by 2030. Hydrogen plays a crucial role in this transition.
Hydrogen is not a freely available energy source, but an energy carrier. Hydrogen is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. We choose for green hydrogen. When producing green hydrogen renewable energy is used from, for example, sun or wind. Hydrogen is a clean energy carrier. When used, electricity, heat and only pure water(vapor) are released. It can be used for home heating, industrial processes, electricity supply and mobility. The production of renewable energy is increasing and the consumption by cars, houses and industry keeps increasing. As a result, electricity networks become overloaded. It takes a lot of time and money to make our electricity grid suitable for this increasing use of electricity. For transport and storage of large amounts of energy, hydrogen is by far the most efficient and cheap solution.
In the foreseeable future we will mainly be driving battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles. The costs of emitting CO2 are, namely, ever increasing and city centres will no longer be accessible for vehicles that emit nitrogen, particulate matter or CO2.
Almost all major international players in the field of transport confirm that hydrogen will be the new energy carrier for heavy transport. Construction companies, taxi companies and target group carriers ultimately see hydrogen as the best option for their business operations as well. For passenger cars, the main concern is ease of use, price and comfort. In this, the individual driver will make a choice. At one point, the success of Tesla was seen as impossible. The car industry doesn’t want to be surprised by a new development a second time. Various manufacturers are ready to scale up production. Governments worldwide contribute with policy decisions and financial resources to accelerate hydrogen mobility.
Hydrogen stations need hydrogen cars and vice versa. Fountain Fuel builds zero-emission energy stations at locations where there is guaranteed demand for hydrogen. This demand will, at first, mainly come from local governments, entrepreneurs and private frontrunners. At the same we stimulate the supply of vehicles through collaboration agreements with manufacturers and leasing companies. We break through the chicken or the egg problem by working on both the demand and the supply.
Fountain Fuel develops a network of zero-emission energy stations where we combine hydrogen refuelling and electric fast charging. The energy transition is inevitable. Mobility, distribution and storage of energy are crucial in this respect. Without hydrogen, there will be a stagnation in the energy will stagnate, in which mobility also plays an important part. Fountain Fuel develops zero-emission energy stations and involves car suppliers, local businesses and consumers. By working on both supply and demand, we ensure every station we build is off to a flying start. At our stations you can fast charge your car or refuel its hydrogen. With the best equipment we guarantee the highest quality and the best experience. In the future you will also be able to ‘recharge’ yourself. We start with building zero-emission energy stations in locations where demand is guaranteed. Afterwards we will develop a network of zero-emission energy stations. We will do this with help of local entrepreneurs and governments. We collaborate with strong partners such as Engie and Linde. In addition, we are supported by brands such as Toyota, Hyundai, Stellantis, Renault and Hyzon support us. By 2030 we will have opened 50 stations in the Netherlands.
In time we will expand across the border. We want to make driving from Oslo to Rome and Amsterdam to Madrid possible using hydrogen, for both heavy transport and vacation travel. To achieve this in the future, we have already entered into partnerships with initiatives in Belgium, Germany, France and Italy. By 2023, this possible international roll-out will be made specified further.
Fountain Fuel is sustainable, innovative and comfortable.
Our zero-emission energy station are real eye-catchers. The look of Fountain Fuel is immediately recognisable. With proven technology and equipment, we deliver the highest possible quality. Refuelling hydrogen at our stations is the same experience as the current refuelling of petrol, notably, it is also just as fast. Several cars can be fuelled simultaneously and directly after each other.
At Fountain Fuel you recharge more than just your car. Because at most of our zero-emission energy stations you will also find places to rest, eat healthy or work quietly. Comfortable for our customers and it contributes to a higher efficiency of our energy stations.
Currently, there possibilities of refuelling hydrogen in the Netherlands are limited. Many private individuals and companies want to make the switch to hydrogen but are waiting for a proper infrastructure. That is why we will already be operating eleven energy stations throughout the Netherlands by 2025. In 2030, our network will consist of 50 zero-emission energy stations. That is 25% of the total expected number of stations. We will mainly acquire locations through municipalities and provinces. In doing so, we are specifically looking for a connection between business parks, logistical bottlenecks and good connections to local networks.
In 2022 we will start building in Amersfoort, Rotterdam and Nijmegen. We opt for those locations because there will be an immediate demand for hydrogen when these stations open. Governments, entrepreneurs and private frontrunners are our crucial first customers here. At the same time, we stimulate the supply of vehicles at these locations by working together with car dealers, importers, leasing companies and manufacturers. As a result, we will achieve a positive operating result shortly after opening.
The look & feel of our zero-emission energy stations is distinct and recognizable. We use this to create a strong identity and save costs due to the repetitive design. The sustainable design and the appearance of the stations match our vision seamlessly. We operate independently of existing gas stations, this way we preserve our own identity. In the future, we do see opportunities in collaborations to develop energy courts, comparable to food courts. The operation of our stations has been developed in collaboration with experienced tank operators. Of course, we did add a large amount of creativity, seeing as we are a frontrunner. We are developing a franchise model using the experience we gain with the first series of stations.
We have a holding structure (Fountain Fuel Holding BV) with a board and below that an operating company (Fountain Fuel BV) in which the corporate activities are carried out. In addition, there is Ontwikkel BV, this houses the development activities. The stations (currently Amersfoort BV, Rotterdam The Hague BV) are located under the operating company. The structure is in the form of a shareholders' agreement and articles of association. These are recorded per deed at the notary and can be requested.
In the early years, business operations are primarily focused on expanding the brand, managing the financial results and managing the growing organization. The shareholders are reported biannually on the progress of the realisation of the established business goals and financial key figures. Based on these reports, meetings are held to make decisions about possible adjustments to the strategy. This includes matter such as, the pace of expansion or the raising of new equity/debt capital.
It is expected that a party will acquire a large stake in Fountain Fuel, or a takeover will happen by 2030 at the latest. If Fountain Fuel decides to continue independently, an (international) growth strategy will be drawn up in 2027-2028 with the shareholders and financiers.