December 6, 2022

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The US also wants to switch to zero-emission buses and trucks

The US also wants to switch to zero-emission buses and trucks

NOS News

Ten more countries have joined a Dutch initiative to make heavy traffic more sustainable at the climate summit. They include Ukraine, the United States and Belgium.

The ambition of these countries is that all newly purchased trucks and buses must be emission-free from 2040, for example by driving electric or using hydrogen. The ultimate goal is for all busy traffic to be emissions-free by 2050.

The Netherlands launched the initiative last year At the Climate Summit in Glasgow. The number of countries that have now joined is 25.

Countries’ motives for participation vary. For example, Ukraine has indicated that it wants to rebuild the country free of fossils as quickly as possible. Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov explains: “Now we are going through a difficult time; we are fighting for our lives. But we will win this war. That is why we are already signing agreements for the future.” The fact that Ukraine wants a fossil-free future is of course also motivated by the fact that the country no longer wants to have anything to do with Russia.

Therefore, Secretary of State Vivian Heijnen (Department of Infrastructure and Water) calls the Americans’ connection a “huge milestone”: “By sending a clear signal to the market, there will soon be more and cheaper supplies for carriers when they switch to an electric truck or one to hydrogen, that’s Good for them and the climate.”

The stumbling block in this shift is the price difference between diesel and electric or hydrogen-powered trucks. Because of the high price, many entrepreneurs hesitate to buy. In the Netherlands, entrepreneurs can get a purchase subsidy for clean trucks. In India, in which the state of Telangana is involved, bids for electric buses are being held en masse.

There are also not enough hydrogen charging stations and filling stations for the heavy traffic at the moment. Heijnen expects to announce a subsidy scheme for hydrogen filling stations this year. The Secretary of State hopes that the countries that have joined will benefit from the knowledge and experience already gained.