Well on our way to an emission-free future

By pitpoint CEO, Erik Kemink

12-03-2018

Let me start this post with some great news from Germany: Thanks to an important ruling by the country’s highest court, German cities are now allowed to keep diesel vehicles out of the city centre. Residents of Düsseldorf and Stuttgart can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Partly due to diesel exhaust, these cities have some of the most polluted air in Germany. With ‘environmental zones’ we’re not only improving the air quality in cities, we’re also taking another step towards achieving the Paris Agreement. So let’s get rid of emissions. Long live clean fuels!

More and more cities are banning diesel

Will this important ruling provoke a chain reaction in the rest of Europe? I expect so. Shortly after the court’s decision in Leizpig, the mayor of Rome also commented on this issue. According to Virginia Raggi, “If we want to intervene seriously, we have to have the courage to adopt strong measures”. From 2024, diesel cars will no longer be welcome in the historic centre of Rome.

Of course, PitPoint thinks this is excellent news, but at the same time we’re urging cities to come up with alternatives. We want to keep driving, but in a cleaner way. For example, cities can make clean fuels more attractive by facilitating new LNG, CNG, biofuel and hydrogen stations, and by making more room for electric charging points. Especially now that the European Commission has deemed the use of 100% bioCNG (green gas) electricity and hydrogen, it’s time to do everything possible at local and national levels to encourage its use.

Green: the colour of money

Meanwhile, there’s still no end in sight for dieselgate. Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller has backed himself in a corner again, by claiming that diesel cars are good for the environment and sales will pick up again as soon as people realise that. Despite the fact that it’s been scientifically proven that diesel causes serious pollution. It’s unfortunate, and a missed opportunity in my opinion.

Moreover, a recent study by Cambridge Ecometrics indicates that the transition to alternative fuels could be quite profitable for the European Union. By replacing imported oil with energy sources like hydrogen and biofuel produced in Europe, billions of euros could remain in Europe. And for clean fuel consumers, prices are likely to drop significantly in the next decade – a process where governments could play a major role. This would make clean fuels widely available and affordable. Need I say more?

Switching to 100% clean transport, together

Closer to home, there are also some nice developments to report in the field of clean fuels. Last month, PitPoint opened a new CNG/biofuel station in Lisse, an eHub in Hillegom, and a new hydrogen filling station in Delfzijl

I personally attended the festive opening in Delfzijl, along with more than 100 other participants. In cooperation with Akzo Nobel, PitPoint will use this station to provide busses from Qbuzz in Groningen and Drenthe with green hydrogen in coming the years. This unique pilot project, which is will run for five years, is contributing to the development of the hydrogen economy in North Netherlands. It was made possible thanks to special collaboration between public and private parties.

With every new station, we’re moving one step closer to achieving PitPoint’s vision: 100% clean transport throughout Europe by 2030. To get there, good cooperation with partners is immensely important. The only way we can reach this goal and achieve an emission-free future is to do it together. It’s a future that will be better for our health, the environment… and our wallets!