Zero emission ferry fleet receives financial boost

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) has awarded its first ever loan guarantee, worth $2.5m, to SWITCH Maritime, an impact investment company building the first fleet of zero emissions vessels in North America with the use of hydrogen fuel cells.

SWITCH’s flagship vessel is a first-of-its-kind 84-passenger, fuel cell electric “e-ferry” that is currently in the final phases of construction and will commence operation on a route between Oakland and San Francisco later this year.

Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer of the Air District, commented, “The Air District is excited to pioneer this cutting-edge technology in the Bay Area to accelerate climate action and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The hydrogen fuel cell ferry is a cleaner solution that will protect public health and reduce harmful diesel emissions in the communities where it is most needed.”

The loan guarantee is the first project under the Air District’s Climate Tech Finance program, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by accelerating emerging climate technologies. In partnership with the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank and the Northern California Financial Development Corporation, the Climate Tech Finance team led a technology qualification and greenhouse gas analysis that deemed SWITCH eligible for a $2.5 million loan guarantee.

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