Toyota Motor Europe has embarked on a partnership with the first hydrogen (H2) vessel to sail around the world.
After a successful partnership in France in 2017, the automotive manufacturer has extended its support and is sponsoring Energy Observer on the next step of its global voyage.
The experimental catamaran showcases technologies that will support tomorrow’s energy networks to make them efficient and applicable on a large scale. It is this model, based on a mix of renewable energy sources and energy storage that the Energy Observer team will promote on their worldwide tour.
Energy Observer is the first autonomous H2 vessel that emits no greenhouse gases or fine particles. This electrically propelled vessel of the future operates by using a mix of renewable energies and a system that produces carbon-free H2 from seawater.
This journey is both a human and technological challenge. A six-year odyssey to test on-board technology in extreme conditions. An endeavour to navigate the first energy autonomous boat around the globe. In addition, the crew led by Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse, is also searching for solutions to champion an ecological and energy transition.
Toyota and Hydrogen
H2 is at the very heart of the Energy Observer project and the major reason for Toyota Motor Europe’s participation. On board the boat, it allows the vessel to gain a considerable weight advantage (50% of the displacement of the ship) when compared to an exclusive battery storage solution.
Used as an energy storage means, it is key to overcoming the issue of the intermittent supply of energy both on land and at sea: to exploit surplus energy and thus extend the autonomy of both mobile and stationary installations.
Tokyo 2020: a common goal for the two H2 promoters
After sailing in France in 2017, now in the Mediterranean and on to Northern Europe in 2019, Energy Observer aims to reach Tokyo in time for the Olympic Games in 2020.
“We are really excited to have Toyota Motor Europe on-board for this mission. We share the vision of H2 as the key for accelerating the energy transition, a vision that we wish to carry to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Victorien Erussard, Founder and Captain of Energy Observer, enthused.
Matt Harrison, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Toyota Motor Europe, added, “Energy Observer is an exciting initiative and we at Toyota Motor Europe are delighted to be associated with such a passionate and dedicated team. This project once again demonstrates the many practical uses of H2 that can be developed as we transition towards a H2 Society.”