After successful testing on a catamaran, Toyota has announced that its fuel cell module for boats is now set to equip its first yacht, bringing the maritime industry into the hydrogen age.
The module has been extensively tested aboard the Energy Observer vessel, proving its abilities on the catamaran for some 7,000 nautical miles in real-sea conditions, including trans-Atlantic crossings. The hydrogen-electric hybrid technology in the REXH2 module is based on Toyota's fuel-cell technology from the automotive sector. It extends the electric range of the vessel with zero CO2 emissions, zero fine particle emissions and no noise.
This module has now been installed on a 12-meter yacht, the Hynova 40. Unlike the Energy Observer, which is also powered by solar energy, the Hynova 40 has two electric batteries as well as the hydrogen generator. The yacht, which can carry up to 12 people, is the first pleasure boat to be kitted out with this zero-emission technology.
For its work in the field, Toyota has evidently drawn on its expertise in the realm of fuel cells for the automotive industry, notably seen in the Mirai, a pioneering hydrogen fuel-cell electric sedan, on the market since 2015. The challenge is to adapt the technology to suit the difficult conditions of the maritime environment.
Toyota is currently integrating its fuel cell technology into a wide variety of applications, such as cars, buses, trucks and boats.