US hydrogen ferry one step closer to hitting Californian waters

August 19, 2021

Trials of a 70-foot, 75-passenger, hydrogen-powered electric-drive ferry that will operate in the California Bay Area are now underway in Bellingham, Washington – and it’s been described as a monumental step in the US maritime industry’s transition to a sustainable future.

All American Marine (AAM) and vessel owner SWITCH Maritime on Wednesday (August 18) announced the launch of the Sea Change vessel, equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell power package provided by Zero Emissions Industries, made up of 360kW of Cummins fuel cells and Hexagon hydrogen storage tanks with a capacity of 246 kg.

The system is also integrated with 100 kWh of lithium-ion battery provided by XALT and a 2x 300 kW electric propulsion system provided by BAE Systems. Together the components that make up the vessel represent what is believed to be the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel currently operational in the US.

Commenting on the development, Pace Ralli, Co-Founder and CEO of SWITCH, said, “By working closely with the US Coast Guard, with innovative technology partners, and with best-in-class shipyards such as AAM, we can make the transition to decarbonised shipping a reality today. We don’t have to wait.”

Ron Wille, President and Chief Operating Officer of AAM, added, “Hydrogen-fuel cell technology will prove to be a robust alternative to conventional powertrain technologies. AAM is continuing our tradition of building vessels on the leading edge of technology using advanced propulsion methods, which is why we are so proud to have to completed construction on such a revolutionary vessel.”

Read more here.

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