Netherlands funds consortium to electrify logistics sector and drive flexibility

Netherlands funds consortium to electrify logistics sector and drive flexibility
Image courtesy Heliox

The Dutch government has announced a funding award for a consortium of 29 companies and knowledge institutions to develop a charging solution for the country’s logistics sector that will flexibly alleviate congestion from the grid.

The Netherlands-based fast-charging developer Heliox is leading the Charging Energy Hubs Project, which consists of 29 consortium stakeholders, including Shell, Prodrive, DAF, DAMEN, Scholt Energy, Firan, ElaadNL, Dynniq Energy and TNO, among others.

The project, which has been approved for an unannounced amount of funding from the Dutch government’s National Growth Fund, aims to accelerate the electrification of the logistics sector through collaboration, research and innovation.

Additionally, it aims to focus on “an efficient use of smart energy systems to maximize grid efficiency through smart energy solutions”, according to a press release.

The project will look at the development of decentralised energy systems that act as a link between electricity consumers and suppliers.

Heliox states that “by seamlessly integrating charging infrastructure, renewable energy and other energy sources, energy storage, and local consumers, these charging energy hubs allow flexibility during peak demand or grid balancing issues.

“This solution alleviates grid congestion while ensuring a solid business case for charging infrastructure investments.”

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Michael Colijn, CEO of Heliox, commented on the funding support: “We are thrilled to receive the support of the National Growth Fund as we accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility, reinforcing the Netherlands as a powerhouse in the logistics and e-mobility sector. Cooperation among stakeholders in the value chain is crucial, and as Heliox, we are eager to lead the charge in this transformative project.”

Paul van Nunen, director of Brainport Development, commented on the hurdles in the way of the logistics sector to sustainability: “The transition to battery electric vehicles requires an additional capacity of the Dutch electricity grid, which is already increasingly subject to balancing and capacity problems.”

Adding to this was Thomas de Boer, president of Shell Commercial Road Transport, who stated how “electrification of the heavy-duty transport sector is crucial to decarbonising the sector. We are proud to participate in the ‘Charging Energy Hubs’ project in the Netherlands, a market that has been a shining star, leading the energy transition charge.

With zero-emission zones set to transform urban logistics by 2025, the demand for electric transport is expected to exponentially increase, states Heliox. However, the challenge lies in the limited capacity of the electrical grid to withstand the increasing demand for high-powered charging infrastructure.

The grid situation in the Netherlands has been one of over-congestion and recurring bottlenecks in several cities. This marks the latest flexibility initiative coming out of the country; a week before the announcement from Heliox, the Dutch government also announced the appointment of a flexibility coordinator.