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Toyota Partners With World’s First Hydrogen Ship Energy Observer


Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation has announced to leverage its expertise in hydrogen-powered energy to a much bigger project. Its European arm, Toyota Motor Europe has partnered with Energy Observer, the world’s first hydrogen ship to travel worldwide.

Launched in France last year, Energy Observer is on a six-year journey to popularize a model comprising renewable energy source combined with energy storage across the globe. The hydrogen ship is currently sailing in the Mediterranean after cruising in France in 2017. It will then sail to Northern Europe next year, ultimately reaching Tokyo before the Olympic Games in 2020.

Considering the journey as a human and technological challenge, the crew on Energy Observer is led by Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse. Erussard commented on the association, “We are really excited to have Toyota Motor Europe on-board for this mission. We share the vision of hydrogen as the key for accelerating energy transition, a vision that we wish to carry to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

Energy Observer hydrogen Ship

Energy Observer is the world’s first hydrogen ship to travel worldwide. Source: Toyota Motors Europe

The Hydrogen Ship: Energy Observer

Energy Observer is the first huge “autonomous energy vessel” powered by a mix of renewable energies. The electric marine vehicle is integrated with a system that generates carbon-free element, hydrogen from seawater.

Further, the hydrogen ship has a substantial weight advantage involving 50% of the ship’s displacement against an exclusive battery storage solution. Similarly, pointing towards energy storage, hydrogen is also practical fuel substitute to scarce energy supply on land and sea.

The world’s first hydrogen ship is sailing across the world to demonstrate the application of sustainable energy networks on a large scale. The project is also supposed to test the efficiency of the green technology in extreme conditions.

Toyoto: Promoter of Hydrogen Fuel

In light of the popularity of battery-powered electric vehicles, Toyota believes that hydrogen is also a feasible alternative to propel vehicles. In fact, it is the future of energy as it allows quick refueling, a considerable driving range, and an emission-free driving experience. Car models such as Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo, and Honda Clarity are all accelerated by hydrogen cells. Toyota also runs buses and trucks using hydrogen fuel cells.

Matt Harrison, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Toyota Motor Europe, stated, “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 hydrogen that can be developed as we transition towards a hydrogen society,” he added.

During its voyage, the Energy Observer crew will showcase a documentary on the concrete and reliable solutions around the world. This will be done under the influence of France’s chief ambassador for the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.

Moreover, the team’s encounters and discoveries will be aired on the Planète + television network later on through an eight-episode series. Along with this, a web-series based on this will be also be uploaded on social media platforms.

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