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Towards zero-emission in the Netherlands

Heliox enables sustainable mobility in the Dutch Wadden Islands and southern province of Limburg.


30 Buses 5 MW Limburg / Wadden Islands, the Netherlands


The Dutch public transport operator, Arriva, had been extending its electric bus service in various locations across the Netherlands since 2012. Since this time, Heliox has provided Arriva with charging infrastructure solutions, first in the city of s’Hertogenbosh and later in 2016 in the province of Limburg, located in the south of the Netherlands. The entire city service in Venlo and a line in Maastricht received an electric bus service, with a total of 16 electric buses. At the other end of the country and in a very different environment are the Dutch Wadden Islands. Located between Den Helder in the Netherlands and Denmark, they are an environmentally protected area and a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2013, Arriva already operated a fleet of six electric buses on the island Schiermonnikoog and in 2017, electric bus transport was extended to the islands Terschelling, Vlieland and Ameland. The unique conditions on the islands brought their own challenges for a charging infrastructure; ground water levels are extremely high and salt water brought many challenges to the equipment.


In December 2016, Arriva began to take its first steps in transforming its entire city service in Venlo and also city line 3 in Maastricht to electric. Heliox installed charging facilities at five locations between Venlo and Maastricht, with charging capacities ranging from 30kW to 300kW. Heliox also established a network of charging facilities for bus services on the Wadden Islands, including facilities on the ferry from the Dutch mainland to Terschelling, at the Arriva depot on the island, and on the islands Ameland and Vlieland. The unique environment brought its own challenges; special coatings had to be applied to equipment to prevent rust caused by salt in the atmosphere, and extremely high ground water levels meant it was necessary to reroute the network. At the harbour in Terschelling, alternative materials capable of withstanding the corrosive effects of salt water had to be used for cables and connectors.


Under the Vountary Agreement on Zero Emission Bus Transport, all new buses must use 100% renewable energy or fuel from 2025 onwards, and be fully emission-free from 2030. In its long-term partnership with Arriva, Heliox is helping the Netherlands meet its targets for providing sustainable public transport. Customer focused and results driven, Heliox provides bespoke solutions for every project meaning solutions can be found for unique situations and solve unforeseen challenges.

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