The world’s first H2-powered vessel, Energy Observer, has set off on its six-year world tour.

With a goal of being the first ship capable of producing its H2 ‘live’ during stopovers and navigation, the catamaran will act as a floating smart grid system, absorbing solar, wind and wave energy. The H2 used to power the vessel will be produced via the electrolysis of seawater. It will be compressed, stored and converted into electricity via an on-board fuel cell.

The experimental science vessel will travel around the world navigating through 50 countries and stopping in 101 ports of call.

The initiative is led by Victorien Erussard, an offshore sea racer and Merchant Navy Officer, and Jérôme Delafosse, an explorer and documentary director. It is sponsored by Nicolas Hulot, French Minister of Transition Ecologique et Solidaire, and Florence Lambert, Director of CEA-Liten.

Didier Gambart, President of Toyota France, official supporter of this odyssey, commented, “We are proud to be part of such an ambitious project for the good of our planet. The project shares the same ecological values and eagerness for energetic transition as exemplified by the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2015.

Captain of Energy Observer, Victorien Erussard, added, “We are very happy to have Toyota, leader in hybrid and H2, as our official supporter. Toyota carries the same drive to fight global warming and air pollution. The goal of Energy Observer is to unite all natural energies, but also the ones of our society. We want the expertise of companies such as Toyota, as well as laboratories, start-ups and institutions, united around our boat.”

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Source: Toyota France