A clean fuel operators’ perspective

Best practices and lessons learned for the transition to zero emission in public transport


On the 18th and 19th of April, the Clean Buses in Europe Conference took place in Amsterdam. During the two day conference, participants from all over Europe learnt more about the transtition to zero emission public transport and the key issues and challenges involved in this transition.

One of the key note speakers was Jan Theo Hoefakker, MD Commercial Sales at Pitpoint clean fuels. In his presentation, Jan Theo shared some important lessons learned based on PitPoint’s 10 year+ experience as a clean fuel operator.

The most important lesson Jan Theo shared with the audience was the importance of listening to your client to find out their goals in the transition to zero emission. There are many ways that lead to Rome, but the ideal path is goal oriented. If you understand your clients’ goals- whether it is cost reduction, less air pollution, CO2 reduction or a combination- you can start assessing what is feasible and find out what are the constraints. This is the best input to create optimal solutions for clients.

Jan Theo illustrated this by sharing a best practice of the TESO-ferry that sails from the Dutch mainland to the island of Texel: “TESO came to us and asked for a ferry on LNG. In return, we asked TESO about their goals. These turned out to be bringing down the local air pollution and CO2-reduction. Subsequently we started calculating based on these goals, the CAPEX and operational costs and the logistic constraints. Instead of LNG, CNG turned out to be the most cost effective solution whilst creating optimal CO2-reduction.”

The second lesson Jan Theo shared evolves around economies of scale.  Throughout our experience in creating infrastructures for various clean fuels, PitPoint knows that fuels have a higher share of fixed costs. It is therefore important to have the future growth in mind when you start engineering. This will make a clean fuel solution as cost attractive as possible.

For example, it is often said that hydrogen costs are around 10 EUR/kg. In practice, it turns out that costs are higher in small scale projects (2 buses) and lower in larger scale projects (10 buses). Therefore, Jan Theo closes his presentation with a call to all participants. “Together we should ensure that we deploy clean fuel solutions on a larger scale and transcends the pilot fase. “