The 33 projects that were selected after two open calls within BENEFIC are in full implementation. This newsletter gives information about the first results. A total of 7.324.232 euros was granted for (ultra) (fast) charging infrastructure, gas stations for hydrogen and (L)CNG, and shore power installations.
This newsletter also brings an interview with the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), the implementing organization of the European Union for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
Brussels Airport Company has the overall ambition to become a zero carbon airport by 2050, facing a considerable CO2 emission reduction of its installations. Investing in electric buses is an important step for Brussels Airport to achieve its sustainability goals. 30 electric buses were purchased through a European tender, including 30 charging points that were selected for BENEFIC grants. The buses have been driving around since March 2019 and run on green electricity.
A survey among drivers shows that they consider the switch to electric buses to be very positive. Particularly the silence and the smooth way of driving is very pleasant. Also favorable are the autonomy of the buses, the charging time and the electric pre-heating.
Brussels Airport: “We experience the subsidy as a low-threshold entry to the European framework CEF. It also recognizes our ambition with regard to CO2 reductions.”
Read more about this project in the environmental report 2018 and Brussels Airport’s press release.
In this BENEFIC project, PitPoint is constructing four CNG stations in the Netherlands. Two of the four planned CNG stations, those in Amsterdam and Eersel, are already in operation. The other two stations, in Alexandrium and Deventer, are under construction and will be operational before mid-2020.
CNG station Amsterdam
CNG Brussels-Capital Region
PitPoint has also constructed three CNG stations in the Brussels-Capital Region. The stations in Auderghem and Anderlecht are now in operation. The third station in Brussels opened on 10 December 2019. This station will offer 100% biomethane.
The project charge.brussels includes the installation of 175 charging stations (22 kW) for electric vehicles in the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region. Although PitPoint encountered a number of challenges, 17 charging stations have been installed so far and have become operational in Evere, Etterbeek, Jette, Ganshoren and Schaarbeek. PitPoint wants to install 35 extra charging stations by the end of this winter.
Inauguration first charging station in Evere (February 2019)
PitPoint: "The BENEFIC grant supports us in expanding sustainable transport in the Netherlands and Belgium. Partly through the development of these projects, we are able to bring several of our stakeholders together and strengthen mutual ties. This brings us another step forward towards our mission to achieve 100% clean transport in 2030."
Since November 2018, electric buses have been running on the line between Amsterdam Central Station and Edam / Volendam. It is the longest track in the world that is electrically operated. To make this possible, 3 fast chargers with pantograph were placed in Edam with the support of BENEFIC.
EBS: “The BENEFIC grant was very important for us to achieve a significant CO2 reduction during the current concession in Waterland. Partly as a result of the BENEFIC grant, ten electric buses have been running since the end of 2018, with which we emit 750.000 kg less CO2 emissions per year compared to conventional diesel buses.”
More information about this project
Since September 2019, buses on the line 64 between Naamsepoort and Bordet in the Brussels Capital Region run entirely zero-emission. To make this possible, MIVB-STIB purchased 25 electric buses. 2 fast chargers with pantograph were provided at the terminus at Naamsepoort, one of which was eligible for BENEFIC grants. In addition, 2 fast chargers and 24 night chargers were provided at the depot in Haren.
More information about this project
INTERVIEW WITH THE INNOVATION AND NETWORK EXECUTIVE AGENCY (INEA)
Why is BENEFIC selected as a project and what is the added value compared to other projects?
Richard Ferrer, Head of Innovation Team at INEA, European Commission:
“BENEFIC has been selected amongst other projects because it is contributing to a more sustainable mobility, at regional, national and European levels. This project supports the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure along main axis and in main nodes of the European transport network. It presents in this regard a robust European added value. It is not only a specific project led by a single operator, but carried out by a strong involvement of public authorities in Belgium and in the Netherlands. They want to support a wide range of regional projects for a sustainable transport system in Europe both for long distance and urban mobility.”
How is BENEFIC followed up at INEA?
Richard: “The technical, administrative and financial aspects of BENEFIC are monitored at INEA, which provides up to 20% of the costs for all selected projects. They are followed up by the Innovation Team, which deals with new technologies and systems for transport operations.”
Have the project expectations been met so far?
Richard: “The project is challenging because it is innovative in terms of services deployed and organizational set-up. The project was ramping up more slowly than expected but is now on full speed.”
What are the expectations for the continuation of BENEFIC?
Richard: “I expect BENEFIC to deliver on all planned objectives. But beyond that, I strongly believe that this project can be a game changer as it demonstrates that alternatives to fossil fuel transport is not only possible, but is already a daily reality. No doubt that at the moment the European Commission has presented the Green Deal, and one aims for carbon neutrality by 2050, this type of project has an inherent potential for a significant contribution. I hope that this will not stop at the end of this project and that we will be in a position to support further similar initiatives, in Belgium and The Netherlands, and in all European Member States.”
More information about INEA