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US hydrogen ferry one step closer to hitting Californian waters
© SWITCH Maritime

US hydrogen ferry one step closer to hitting Californian waters

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.”

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