In 2022 target group transport must be emission-free. That is the aim of the Administrative Agreement and the Zero Emission Target Group Transport Covenant. Although many parties have signed the agreements, a lot still needs to be done to make transport more sustainable. Knowledge platform CROW has drawn up a Knowledge Agenda on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, containing the main challenges and actions for the coming years.

The agenda was drawn up by a working group of representatives of different clients in target group transport. Interviews were also held with experts from the sector. The document is divided into six themes: Charging infrastructure, Vehicles, Information, Other financing, Monitoring tender and Safety.

More time for large, heavy wheelchair buses In the Knowledge Agenda CROW states, among other things, that for some vehicles 2025 seems unfeasible. To get the larger wheelchair buses zero emissions 2022 is a more realistic goal. The buses are soon too heavy for a driver’s license. A lightweight vehicle for up to seven people will be launched on the market in the course of this year, but CROW has doubts whether that will be enough to meet the demand.

The driving license legislation calls the organization a other challenge. “If the limit of 3.29 kg is dropped, the development of electric wheelchair buses will be easier. Hydrogen may help in the long run. However, the current supply is expensive. In the context of the Hydrogen Action Programme, experience is being gained in target group transport in pilots with the use of hydrogen vehicles and tank infrastructure.”

Financing and tendering CROW also mentions financing as an important point of attention. It is questionable whether the current cost structure is optimal and therefore the knowledge platform advises to map out all incentives for cars and taxis and to see what lessons have been learned in other sectors, such as public transport.

The question is also whether the tendering method can help to achieve zero-emission target-group transport more quickly. Coordination with the Mobility Procurement Institute (AIM) and analysis of tenders could, among other things, offer a solution.

Charging infrastructure Is it For charging infrastructure, the challenges differ per type of transport. Demand-dependent transport mainly needs fast charging points at strategic locations such as hospitals and healthcare institutions. Clients who request emission-free target group transport in their tenders must also ensure a comprehensive network of charging infrastructure, CROW states. This also includes the home address of the drivers, who often take their bus home and want to be able to load it at home.

A factor to take into account is the time it takes to charging station installed. That could take up to nine months. In the long term, CROW considers it desirable to carry out journey pattern analyzes in order to obtain a national picture of the National Agenda Charging Infrastructure. At the same time, it must be examined whether charging points for target group transport and public transport cannot be combined.

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