How to insure mega-batteries? This is how tree felling company - Weijtmans does it

From solar panels to electric cranes: when it comes to increasing sustainability, Weijtmans, a tree felling company in Udenhout, Brabant, has been at the forefront for years. The company recently purchased two brand-new power hubs. Big question: how do you insure these kinds of mega-batteries? Rabobank has found a suitable solution, thereby opening the door for entrepreneurs with sustainable ambitions.

In the mid-1980s, Boomrooierij Weijtmans was a local player, with a handful of vehicles on the premises. A lot has changed since then. In the years that followed, the company grew into the largest tree felling company in our country, with some fifty employees and an impressive fleet of machinery. Governments and construction companies call Weijtmans for complicated jobs in busy city centers and near high-voltage cables, for example. After a storm, all hands are on deck. Weekends and holidays do not count. Cleaning up fallen trees on public roads simply cannot wait.

Leader in sustainability

Kees Weijtmans is the sixth generation working within the family business. Increasing sustainability is one of his focal points.

'If you are the biggest company in your market, you have to set a good example, even if that means being a little more expensive.'

For his new premises in Udenhout, for example, he opted for a wooden construction. The beams are so thick that they will last longer than steel in the event of a fire. There are also about 1,000 solar panels on the roof.

Moreover, the tree felling company is pioneering the use of electrically powered vehicles. There are already two electric buses on site and another and various other electrical machinery.

Weijtmans also takes the environment into account in other ways. Many clients are in the Eindhoven region: about a half-hour drive from Udenhout. 'Now that we also have an office in Son, we have to travel far less kilometers. That way we save a lot of CO2 emissions. And on this building we had another 400 solar panels installed,' says Weijtmans.

Minimal environmental impact due to the use of a Powerhub battery system at a project in the city of Amsterdam.

Two power hubs funded

Electrifying business processes is a tough challenge for many entrepreneurs. Especially now that the power grid is full in large parts of the Netherlands. For Weijtmans, there is an additional challenge. For larger jobs, you soon have to rely on a diesel generator,' says Weijtmans.

'We also wanted to take the next step and therefore have acquired two powerhubs. These are large mobile batteries with which we can supply sustainably generated power for our new electric vehicles at each location.'

Insuring electric generators

Unlike a diesel generator, these mega-batteries emit no CO2. And that's good news for the climate. However, this investment does create an insurance challenge. 'Weijtmans is going to use the power hubs on location. That means they will also be transported and possibly leased. The risk thus becomes extra complex,' says Pels Rijcken. 'Insurers use statistics, but with new developments such as these kinds of large batteries, there simply aren't any yet. That calls for an innovative solution.'

The team from, Rabo Assurantie Makelaardij, found the solution in customization. Not only are transport and rental covered, but also other possible risks.

Making your business more sustainable?

Thanks in part to the customized solutions Rabobank offers, Kees Weijtmans can continue to build a sustainable future for his business.

'I am proud that we managed to achieve this. This also paves the way for other entrepreneurs who want to electrify their operations.'


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