Research institution Christian Michelsen Research Prototech (CMR) is installing hydrogen (H2) fuel cells onto the Osterøy car ferry in Norway, making it the first car ferry in the Scandinavian country to use H2 as a fuel.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of H2 and fuel cells for marine electric propulsion, and to obtain approval from maritime authorities to operate the ferry with passengers onboard.

One of the ferry’s two diesel engines will be replaced by an electric motor powered by 200kW of commercially available proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, combined with 100kW batteries.

Its H2 consumption is estimated to be about 150kg per day once it is up and running. Fellow Norwegian company GreenStat will supply the project with H2 via the electrolysis method. 

Experience obtained in this project will be used as a basis to develop several H2 hybrid ferries as a zero-emission solution for a range of marine vessels along the coast of Norway.

The ‘MF Ole Bull’ currently operates between Valestrand and Breistein, just outside the city of Bergen.