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Cummins fuel cells to power North America’s first commercial hydrogen-powered ferry

Cummins fuel cells to power North America’s first commercial hydrogen-powered ferry

Cummins technology is set to power a first-of-its-kind hydrogen ferry in California, US.

Designed by Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine and owned by SWITCH Maritime, the 70-foot high speed ferry, named Sea Change, will transport commuters around the bay of San Francisco.

Expected to begin sea trials later this year, Sea Change marks another crucial milestone in the commercialisation of zero emissions marine vessel power.

Cummins’ fuel cells are being integrated into North America’s first commercial hydrogen-powered zero emissions ferry (ZEF), which will also demonstrate and test the potential of commercialisation of fuel-cell powered marine vessels to the global maritime industry.

How it works 

The Sea Change is powered by Cummins’ 360kW fuel cell and can reach speeds up to 22 knots.

The fuel cells are supplied with hydrogen from storage tanks creating electricity to run the electric motors and turn the vessels propellers, generating the ferry’s movement.

With the ZEF only producing water and electricity as a by-product, it’s 100% emissions free.

“Fuel cells are an attractive solution for decarbonisation of marine vessels for several reasons,” Cummins explained in a statement.

“They are zero emissions, silent and scalable. Plus, they are flexible because the power from the fuel cells is transported through wires, the fuel cells can be placed almost anywhere on the vessel.”

In the case of the Sea Change, the fuel cells are placed in a room at the back of the main cabin, while the hydrogen storage tanks are up at the top deck.


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