H2Roadtrip kick-off: 12,000 kilometres through Europe on hydrogen

Entrepreneur couple drive electric pick-up loaded with hydrogen through Europe to show that hydrogen is a clean and reliable fuel for mobility

On Monday, 22 April, the starting shot was sounded for the H2Roadtrip. Following an information event, a team of two entrepreneurs, Els and André Molengraaf, set off on a 100-day trip of 12,000 kilometres through 12 European countries. Their objective: demonstrate that hydrogen is a clean, reliable and future-proof energy carrier that is ready for large-scale application in mobility. André: ‘With this roadtrip we want to draw attention to our hydrogen tanks and to the use of hydrogen.’

The idea for the roadtrip arose when André (H2Storage) and Els Molengraaf (Els4Organising) were in Rome in February 2022 for a company visit concerning the development of an H2Storage hydrogen tank. There, the idea grew to show the world what is possible with the right storage and planning. Els Molengraaf: ‘That’s when we came up with the idea of doing a roadtrip to draw attention to the hydrogen tanks and to the use of hydrogen.’

The two entrepreneurs are convinced that hydrogen can play a crucial role in the transition to a sustainable energy provision. Els Molengraaf: ‘Hydrogen is not only the future, but it is today already a valuable energy carrier. The remarkable thing is that we’re travelling in an electric pick-up, which is fuelled by the hydrogen tanks that are integrated into our self-designed and -built tiny house on wheels.’

A successful kick-off event

The kick-off event at the KWR site was a great success. The Molengraafs received lots of positive reactions on the occasion. Els Molengraaf: ‘Maybe we ourselves hadn’t quite realised how unusual it is what we are doing, but the admiring reactions of others has certainly made it apparent.’

The visitors could look at the various hydrogen applications, such as in construction machinery, commercial vehicles, generators and mobile loading solutions. The electric pick-up truck and the Molengraafs’ self-built tiny house also attracted a great deal of attention.

During the event various SMEs gave demonstrations of their hydrogen solutions. There was also a panel discussion with experts from different sectors, during which the opportunities and possibilities of hydrogen in mobility, transport, shipping and aviation were extensively discussed.

Image 1. During the kick-off event a panel discussion was held with experts from different sectors, in which the possibilities of hydrogen were extensively discussed.

KWR proud host

KWR has been involved in the development of hydrogen technologies since 2017.  Ron Bol, green hydrogen expert at KWR/Hysolar: ‘We see that KWR is being approached more and more because of its knowledge and expertise in the field of hydrogen, which has been built up here since 2017. For example, in 2019 we already had a temporary hydrogen filling station and seven passenger cars running on hydrogen. And this summer will see the start of the production of green hydrogen by Hysolar at the KWR site.

KWR was proud to host the H2Roadtrip kick-off. Bol: ‘I have been working on the development of hydrogen technologies since 2020. While in the beginning hydrogen was characterised primarily by its great potential, we now see that the concrete applications are developing faster and faster. A growing number of companies and public authorities are moving towards hydrogen. It’s great to be able to show this development at this event.’

Targeted trip and networking

The two entrepreneurs look forward mostly to the targeted trip through 12 different European countries and to the possibilities it will offer to make new contacts. In addition, they want to organise events in various countries and plan company visits. They are also looking forward to working remotely: ‘It is actually not a vacation, but a workation. Working part of the day, and part of the day enjoying the area where we happen to be at that moment.’

The logistics can by the way become quite a challenge. Els Molengraaf: ‘After Spain, being able to fill up on hydrogen when we need to will be a big challenge. There are pretty well no hydrogen filling stations from that point on, so, to meet our needs, we will have to make arrangements with companies that work with hydrogen.’

For more information about the H2Roadtrip and this trip, visit the H2roadtrip website.

Image 2. André and Els Molengraaf travel in an electric pick-up during the H2roadtrip, fuelled by hydrogen tanks, and their self-built tiny house on wheels.