Towards the end of 2020, the SWIM consortium first came together with the ambitious vision of building the world’s first hydrogen powered water taxi. The consortium, made up of Enviu’s THRUST program, Flying Fish, Zepp.Solutions and Watertaxi Rotterdam, planned to have the vessel ready and on the water by the end of 2021.
This project was never intended as just a proof of a concept. It was designed to be commercially viable from the outset, serving a public demanding zero-emission transport.
Though the covid19 pandemic delayed our plans, progress has still been rapid and we are now moving into the final stages of the project. Within the next two and a half months the vessel will be operational and on the water.
The real reward has been seeing this project go from blueprint to reality. Here’s are the last steps before we officially set sail.
Out of the workshop, into the testing ground:
In early 2021 construction of the boat wrapped up at Alumax shipyards after 18 months of hard work by the team. We have already installed the vessel’s electric drivetrain, designed and implemented by consortium member Flying Fish. Though hydrogen will be the vessel’s primary means of propulsion, an electric drive train working in conjunction will be vital in providing the initial acceleration and low velocity maneuverability before we reach cruising speed.
Assembly completed and e-drive train installed, the vessel was wrapped before it left the workshop, ready to take its place in Watertaxi Rotterdam’s iconic fleet. After a quick flotation test in Meppel, we moved the vessel to Delft ready for its first live tests.
What’s left before we launch:
Over March and April, the project will enter its crucial final stage.
In Delft we’ll be filling in the cooling system, building out the vessel’s dashboard, uploading the required software and ensuring proper performance of the boat’s security system. Once the AC/DC charging has been tested alongside the high voltage batteries we’ll be ready to undergo actual test sailing in Delft.
However, Flying Fish’s electric drivetrain is just one of two propulsion systems needed for the vessel. The hydrogen fuel cell, built by Zepp.Solutions will be installed at the boats final destination and source of hydrogen fuel, Rotterdam. There the fuel cell will be installed, fueled and tested. It’s a race toward the finish line.
However as everything comes together, ample planning and the experience of our consortium members mean we expect few surprises going into the last months. Ahead of our launch we’re proud and excited to demonstrate that zero-emission hydrogen powered transport on water isn’t just possible but happening. This first hydrogen powered water taxi points will demonstrated what a future maritime industry can look like.
We believe this one vessel will change the maritime industry:
No hydrogen infrastructure, no use cases, no regulation. These are problems that will be simultaneously overcome when we take to the water in May. This project is proof of hydrogen’s performance, safety, climate credentials and commercial viability.
So if you’re in Rotterdam in the future, come enjoy a zero-emission ride around the city’s iconic waterways.
To stay up to date with the final stages of our journey make sure your following our consortium members on social media. You can find the links below!
Interested in working with us to build a cleaner, safer and zero-emission maritime industry? Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you: