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Hydrogen Infrastructure / Interview, Comment & Thought Leadership


Gilbarco Veeder-Root, may be best known for the technology in petrol pump dispensers, is applying their 150 years of dispensing experience to alternative fuels and a particular focus on the roll out of Hydrogen refueling stations across the USA and Europe. 

Joel van Rensburg, General Manager of Hydrogen is available for interview, comment and has drafted the Thought Leadership piece (detailed below) on energy security and why it is essential that countries have a range of fueling options to smooth the spikes in demand. Joel would be happy to adapt the story angle to create a fit for your readership and upcoming topics. 

Joel is particularly keen to talk about how Gilbarco Veeder-Root are ready and have the technology in place to grow the H2 infrastructure across the USA and Europe as OEMs develop their Heavy-Duty fleets. 

Infrastructure is probably the biggest incentive to transition – Gilbarco Veeder-Root’s hydrogen technology and infrastructure roll out is arguably as vital as the OEMs work in developing the vehicles. 

Gilbarco Veeder-Root predicts that 21% of the Medium and Heavy-Duty vehicle market (trucks and buses) will be hydrogen powered by 2040. For example, as the current crop of ICE buses have a 20 – 25-year service life, they will be replaced with Fuel Cell versions from 2040 and beyond.  

I hope this is of interest and look forward to hearing from you,

Many thanks,


Thought Leadership Headline:

Ensuring energy security in an uncertain future

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The world is currently facing one of its most severe fuel and energy crisis. Diversification of fuel sources can not only help ensure energy security but also accelerate humankind on its transition to fully sustainable mobility. The prices of traditional fuels such as oil, petrol and diesel have proved to be sensitive to geopolitical changes. Alternative fuels like hydrogen will reduce pressures on any single fuel resource and as localised green hydrogen production becomes commercially viable prices will stabilise.


The International Energy Agency (IEA) defines energy security as the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price. But with petrol, diesel, gas, heating oil and electricity prices soaring far beyond record levels and certain to spiral even higher, some parts of Europe and North America are bracing for energy blackouts this winter.

Today, the IEA’s words seem to do little more than summon up memories of a long-gone utopian era of filling a car’s fuel tank to the brim and running the central heating all day without a care.

However, it is worth remembering that humankind has endured and survived many energy crises, and of course, the IEA was formed in 1974 to respond to the global oil crisis of 1973. Petrol rationing in the UK and USA during World War II led to a resurgence of horsepower on city streets, resulting on occasion in the bizarre sight of horses not just towing traditional carts again but also petrol-powered cars with empty tanks.

Conflicts, political upheaval, and market failures can severely impinge on energy supply. But even in times of peace and prosperity, the supply chain is still vulnerable to the elements.

The Great Freeze of 1962 - 63 trapped canal boats in ice all over Great Britain for six weeks, preventing the distribution of coal for heating homes and powering industry.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina shut down oil and gas production from the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, the source of 25% of U.S. crude oil production and 20% of natural gas output.

Even renewable energy sources are vulnerable. Rising global temperatures may result in water shortage, impacting hydroelectric power plants, and the effects of climate change on wind and solar power are far from fully understood.

Delicate balance

Ultimately, the only thing energy retailers can be sure of is that they will face further uncertainty in the future, which is clearly understood by Gilbarco Veeder-Root's General Manager of Hydrogen Joel van Rensburg. “Rising prices at fuel pumps and across every spectrum of the energy supply chain underline the delicate geopolitical balance energy companies must make. In addition, influences beyond their control cause domestic and industrial use of energy to fluctuate, and the interplay between different forms of energy is clearly shown as gas and electricity prices track upwards.�?? explains van Rensburg. 

There’s no escaping the onerous and complex nature of the challenge. “Even if somehow the world could enjoy an endless era of peace and political stability, the planet still faces grave concerns over energy supply, with increasing population growth, rapid urbanisation, and pressing sustainability challenges,�?? continues van Rensburg.

The question is what can be done about it. 

No silver bullet solution

Joel van Rensburg believes implementing a successful diversification strategy is essential for achieving energy security. “At Gilbarco Veeder-Root, we are fully aware that there can be no silver bullet solution to energy supply. And it is equally clear that now is the time to diversify and invest in alternative energy sources to fuel vehicles of all sizes. From electric charging points for electric vehicles (EVs), to CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and, most crucially, hydrogen where heavier duty vehicles and fleets are concerned, now is the time to redouble efforts to put in place the infrastructure required to support a broad mix of fuel and energy sources.�??

According to the annual Global EV Outlook publication, worldwide EV sales doubled in 2021 from the previous year to a new record of 6.6 million where they accounted for 10% of all cars sold. 2022 is off to a promising start with 2 million EVs sold in Q1, an increase of 75% on the same period last year. However, the same report highlighted how EV sales in emerging countries lag far behind. In Brazil, India, and Indonesia, fewer than 0.5% of car sales are electric, which underlies the need for a mixed energy supply solution that still includes petrol and diesel until the global transition from fossil fuel is complete in both developed and developing countries.

Poised for growth 

Compared with EVs, sales of hydrogen-powered cars remain low, but it is important to note how quickly they are developing. Data collected by JATO Dynamics indicates that global sales of hydrogen fuel-cell cars totalled 15,500 units worldwide in 2021; however, that still represents a staggering 84 per cent increase over 2020.

“There is no doubt that hydrogen will play a significant role in delivering a holistic, sustainable mobility solution,�?? explains van Rensburg. “And we are not just talking about passenger cars. Hydrogen is expected to play a crucial role in fuelling large commercial vehicles.�??

Around the world all major truck manufacturers are developing hydrogen vehicles and implementing hydrogen strategies. All major oil companies and energy companies are also building dedicated hydrogen divisions. We are seeing a growing number of consortiums forming between vehicle manufacturers and energy companies to accelerate technological and infrastructure development.

Hyundai has already introduced the world’s first fuel cell heavy-duty truck, the XCIENT Fuel Cell, which can achieve a range of approximately 400km on a single charge. The company plans to build 1,600 examples by 2025. But the key to the uptake of vehicles like Hyundai XCIENT will, of course, be the ability of operators to refuel them effortlessly.

Win-win situation

“At GVR, we are implementing strategic partnerships to accelerate the roll out of vital hydrogen refuelling infrastructure across Europe and North America,�?? sums up van Rensburg. “Increasing fuel diversity will not only help ensure energy security to protect against future impacts and global crises, but it will also enable fuel retailers and commercial vehicle fleet operators to remain relevant and profitable in a rapidly changing landscape. And most importantly of all, it will help accelerate the world's transition to fully sustainable mobility.�??

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