Zero-emission ferry fuels Bristol’s green credentials

July 17, 2013

The UK’s first hydrogen-powered ferry is officially launched in Bristol tomorrow – the latest step by the city towards becoming the UK’s green powerhouse.

Clean, green and producing zero emissions, the ferry service will showcase the commercial advantages of this technology to businesses, residents, commuters and tourists during a pilot scheme over the summer.

The aim is to kick-start enterprise in new environmental technology and new areas of economic growth in Bristol, providing investment and more jobs for people in the technologies of the future. 

The ferry will be operated by Bristol Hydrogen Boats, a consortium formed between the directors of No: 7 Boat Trips, the Bristol Packet and Auriga Energy which developed the fuel cell system. The hydrogen and the dockside refuelling station will be supplied by Air Products.

Initial funding of £225,000 was provided by the city council as part of its Green Capital initiatives. Bristol was recently awarded the European Green Capital 2015 title.

The ferry, which can carry up to 12 passengers each journey, began service in Bristol in February and will continue until August 21. Tomorrow will be its official launch.

City council cabinet member with responsibility for the environment, neighbourhoods and council housing, Gus Hoyt, said: “The commissioning of this pilot ferry service is an exciting first for the city. We continue to achieve international recognition for our innovative approach to making Bristol more environmentally-friendly.

“It will showcase to Bristol, the UK and the world, the benefits of a technology that produces zero emissions. It is in line with the Mayor’s vision of Bristol as a ‘laboratory for change’ with the city developing pioneering practices that will not only benefit Bristol, but will hopefully become a model for cities around the world.”

Managing director of Auriga Energy and spokesperson for the consortium Jas Singh said:  “With the arrival of the heat wave, the prize-winning Hydrogenesis has been demonstrated to operate in all weather conditions showing the viability of the new zero-emission fuel cell technologies in marine transport operations.

“The project has put Bristol on the world map among the pioneers of the emerging hydrogen economy.”

Hydrogenesis, as the ferry is called, will be on the water during the forthcoming Harbour Festival and throughout the summer, calling at all the landing stages and dropping off by request. The aim is to reach as wide an audience as possible.

The service is also available for hire by the hour for celebrations, business trips, taxi runs, lunches, as well as evening tours of the harbour.

During the summer holidays it will also be carrying young people from holiday clubs as well as other groups.

Compared to petrol and diesel engines, hydrogen-powered transport has a significantly smaller environmental impact as it produces no direct emissions; the only waste product is water. This would produce a big drop in air and water pollution as well as reduced noise in the harbour if the technology were to be widely adopted. 



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