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Hydrogen in Belgium: Opportunities in Automotive Transportation

This study provides a clear overview of the Hydrogen ecosystem in Belgium while comparing it to initiatives in other European countries. Furthermore, barriers that are slowing down Hydrogen adoption are identified. This report will rely on our research and market data insights, interviews with industry experts, as well as observations from Capgemini Invent’s industry consulting experience.

Hydrogen in Belgium

Compared to other parts of the world, Belgium shows a lot of research initiatives and some local firms are firm believers of hydrogen technology. Yet, some industry leaders within the automotive space are hesitant. Nevertheless, an increasing amount of research and development money is poured into hydrogen research. It is not only   private institutions that are investing money – the European Union has launched a creative proof of concept initiative with garbage trucks and other heavy modes of transportation.

Challenges & Opportunities

Belgium, with its ports and petroleum-gas industries, already has a good foundation to support a broader hydrogen network. Even though there are a lot of smaller initiatives by governmental and municipal agencies to aid the acceleration of Hydrogen adoption, a large-scale roll-out takes time. In the best case, they will facilitate installations by private enterprises to fuel their transition into a cleaner world. Another opportunity arises for companies with close ties to the government which will allow them to gain permits and additional funding more quickly.

Belgium has a unique financial incentive for cars, as the Belgian car fleet consists of the newest vehicles worldwide. Compared to other countries, this makes for a much cleaner and more efficient fleet. However, due to the considerable number of kilometers driven per inhabitant, the savings overall are minimal. These days, the emphasis is on Electric vehicles as a solution. However, the Belgian electricity grid cannot cope in its current state with a gigantic influx of electric vehicles. To keep this fleet green in Belgium the government could look towards hydrogen as a solution for passenger cars. Moreover, several OEMs are investigating this opportunity. However, in the short term, large trucks, and other large vehicles, capable of swapping their diesel engines more easily than regular vehicles, can benefit most from hydrogen adaptation.

Considering the limited support of the government, if hydrogen adoption is to accelerate in Belgium, the various players active in the hydrogen ecosystem need to devise a clear path forward and come together where possible to align on the way forward. To overcome the challenge of the missing infrastructure, OEMs should form partnerships with production and logistics operators with expertise in hydrogen. A combined offering that would all ow for a clear process to install and operate hydrogen fuel stations in and around Belgium would go a long way in reassuring reluctant players in conservative industries. To reach clean transportation governments, companies, research institutes and entrepreneurs  alike would need  to push forward alternative sources of energy storage. Customer adoption will follow suit as the technology and (mainly) infrastructure improves.

For more information, please contact:

Carlos de Moura
Head of Automotive at Capgemini Invent Belux
Mob. : + 32 490 58 45 16
Jonathan Schick
Head of Mobility at Capgemini Invent BeLux
Mob. : +32 487 58 18 36
Victor Donck
Mobility Consultant at Capgemini Invent Belux
Mob. : + 32 473 78 58 36
Pieter-Jan De Coninck
Automotive Consultant at Capgemini Invent Belux
Mob. : + 32 473 78 58 36