The first North American commercial hydrogen ferry is in the worksJune 1, 2021
The fuel cell e-ferry will be called Sea Change and it will provide zero-emission passenger transport.
SWITCH Maritime LLC is moving forward with a Water-Go-Round project in the United States, which will bring North America’s first commercial hydrogen ferry into operation.
The H2 e-ferry, called the Sea Change, will provide emission-free passenger commuter transportation.
Once the Sea Change commercial hydrogen ferry is built, it will be 70 feet long and will transport 84 passengers. It will operate in the San Francisco Bay Area, helping to cut back on road congestion without contributing any more greenhouse gas emissions in exchange. This will be the first vessel in the SWITCH Maritime Water-Go-Round project. The e-ferry is funded by that project and will be the first of its kind in North America.
The Water-Go-Round project will receive a $3 million grant to partially fund it. That grant is from the California Air Resources Board. The project will also be supported by Zero Emission Industries, a full-service hydrogen fuel cell power systems provider. Also supporting the project include partners such as the Port of San Francisco, Hexagon Composites, and BAE Systems.
The Sea Change commercial hydrogen ferry construction has begun at by Ship and Yacht Co.
Ship and Yacht Co is located in Alameda, California. All American Marine was also awarded a construction contract by SWITCH Maritime. That contract is to complete the e-ferry’s aluminum frame and outfitting for the completion of the vessel.
The vessel will be equipped with an H2 tank array, which will contain 264 kilograms of 250 bar compressed hydrogen fuel. This will be an adequate supply for two full days of operation before the vessel will need to refuel. Zero Emission Industries designed the powertrain, which is powered by a 360-kilowatt fuel cell. The fuel cell was provided by Cummins Hydrogenics.
The Sea Change will travel up to 22 knots and will use additional power boosts when necessary, from 100 kWh batteries which will be stored in the e-ferry’s hull.
SWITCH Maritime and its Water-Go-Round project see the Sea Change commercial hydrogen ferry as an important demonstration of the power of H2 for marine applications. The firm has stated that it is hopeful to become a leading player in the implementation of this tech throughout the maritime industry as it transitions toward zero emissions.