New campus for sustainable mobility in Lommel
North Limburg to become hub for research and the development of emission-free vehicles
A new campus will be built in Lommel, with a focus on green and smart mobility. Five partners – POM Limburg, the city of Lommel, Flanders Make, Ford Lommel Proving Ground and E-Trucks Europe – will enter into a collaboration to this end. The goal is to embed research and development of sustainable mobility in North Limburg, thereby accelerating the transition to an emissions-free future.
Mobility is still one of the main causes of CO2 emissions and other harmful emissions, including particulate matter. The result is a serious environmental impact.
Tom Vandeput, Deputy for the Economy and Chairman of POM Limburg: “The switch to sustainable mobility has been slower than hoped. This is because recent developments – such as hydrogen and the latest batteries – are not yet widely known, but also because a lot of the technology relating to zero-emission vehicles still needs to be developed. We want to accelerate that with these partners in Lommel. It will be a pioneering European project for anyone interested in sustainable and smart mobility.”
Lommel possesses all the trumps to ensure that the research into emission-free mobility generates results. The city has focused on renewable energy for some time, including the Kristal Solar Park, the largest solar park in the Benelux, and the Lommel wind farms.
Mayor of Lommel Bob Nijs: “The city of Lommel’s ambition is to keep pioneering in renewable energy and sustainable mobility. The fact that we can achieve this with partners based in Lommel makes this project all the more interesting for us.”
100 kilometres of test track
Ford Lommel Proving Ground is Ford’s main test site in Europe, and features 100 kilometres of test track with test pilots, engineers and cutting-edge infrastructure, including the latest charging stations.
CEO of Ford Lommel Proving Ground Koen Estievenart: “Ford is undergoing a global transition to smart, electric and connected mobility. We are therefore turning Ford Lommel into the centre of expertise in order to test these new vehicles. Alternative propulsion systems, including hydrogen, obviously need to be part of these tests. With our more than 50 years of experience in vehicle testing, it’s an obvious choice to collaborate with like-minded people, to enhance our knowledge in the area of new propulsion systems and smart mobility in the region.”
Adjacent to the Ford test track is Flanders Make, the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry, which also includes a co-creation centre for vehicle development. The centre features high-tech infrastructure that allows companies, for example, to have their powertrains and vehicles tested and validated.
CEO of Flanders Make Dirk Torfs: “Exactly 10 years ago, together with E-Trucks Europe, we already presented a first electric truck, which was the result of a joint research project. This has been further developed and now it is time for a new initiative, with which we will strengthen the collaboration and further put the research at the service of companies that want to commit to smart and green mobility.”
Vehicle manufacturer E-Trucks Europe has also joined the project. The Lommel-based company, which has international branches, has been producing hydrogen-electric vehicles since 2010 and has built up considerable expertise in this area.
CEO of E-Trucks Europe André Beukers: “We are convinced that this new collaboration in Lommel will lay a solid foundation for the future of sustainable mobility and will ensure a wide dissemination of knowledge on zero-emissions to interested parties.”
Clean and smart mobility
The new campus will bundle all expertise in the area of emission-free mobility.
Deputy Tom Vandeput: “The new research centre will allow developers of sustainable vehicles to test or further develop their cars. But companies will also be able to learn about clean and smart mobility at the centre, for example through test drives and demonstrations. We are also creating an incubator for students, start-ups and companies as an experiment and collaboration space.”