Monday, May 30, 2022
DATS 24, Colruyt Group's energy and fuel supplier, continues to play a pioneering role in the field of sustainable alternatives. In addition to its well-known commitment to CNG, it is also fully committed to electric driving. Electric cars also mean driving on H2, or hydrogen. The opening of this public hydrogen station along the A12 motorway in Wilrijk is the starting shot for the opening of five new H2 stations in Belgium. Together with a number of partners, DATS 24 is also helping companies to introduce hydrogen cars into their fleets.
For DATS 24, hydrogen has strong potential as a sustainable fuel. In 2018 it launched the first fully integrated hydrogen filling station in Europe at its home base in Halle. Their second, new hydrogen station in Wilrijk next to the Cardoen site is now creating additional opportunities for companies and families in the Antwerp region. The intention is that H2 refuse lorries will soon be able to refuel here too. And the City of Antwerp is looking forward to this in the context of its sustainable mobility applications. Besides Wilrijk, in the coming months DATS 24 will be opening hydrogen stations in Haasrode, Erpe-Mere, Ollignies and Herve. This means that in the wide vicinity of these locations hydrogen is becoming a real option for the transport of people and goods.
Hydrogen powered electric vehicles offer unique advantages
"Sustainability remains the guiding principle in everything we do. Both at Colruyt Group and at DATS 24. This means that we continue to invest in the production and distribution of renewable energy and fuels. The aim of DATS 24 is to make hydrogen as widely available as possible for the transport of people and goods," explains Raf Flebus, Business Unit Manager of DATS 24. "Driving on hydrogen is driving electrically with, on top of that, a combination of unique advantages: a quick refill, emission-free driving and a guaranteed electric range of 650 to 700 km. All you need is a H2 filling station nearby. For many companies in this area this is now possible", Flebus adds.
DATS 24 can count on the support of a number of partners. One of those partners is WaterstofNet, which unites the hydrogen industry in Flanders and the south of the Netherlands in the Hydrogen Industry Cluster (WIC). Adwin Martens, Managing Director of WaterstofNet: "An acceleration is needed to get society moving towards zero emissions. Green molecules such as hydrogen will play a crucial role in getting everyone on board. That is why we have ensured that this DATS 24 hydrogen station, quite a substantial investment, was co-financed within the Hydrogen Region 2.0 programme of Interreg Flanders-Netherlands.”
Guiding companies towards hydrogen mobility
DATS 24 can safely be called the pioneer of sustainable energy and fuels in Belgium. In concrete terms, being a pioneer means: testing, trying out, consulting extensively, optimising, analysing, informing, inspiring, involving, demonstrating, facilitating, testing again - and all without a guarantee of success. Raf Flebus: “"Colruyt Group gives us the space to take on this pioneering role, and that is quite unique. We have also brought partners together to actively pursue the transition. In the context of hydrogen mobility, together with other hydrogen pioneers Toyota, Hyundai, and ALD Automotive, we have launched an interesting leasing formula for company fleets. This should help companies to make the transition".
Business Association Handel and Industrie Wilrijk (HIW) is already convinced of the possibilities. Today they are coming together to discover the advantages, opportunities, and possibilities at a workshop on driving on hydrogen. The expertise and test drives will be provided by DATS 24 and its partners.