Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) is working with Echandia, a Swedish company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of batteries and fuel cell systems for maritime applications, to a{explore} the possibility of jointly developing a market for ships that use pure hydrogen fuel cell systems in order to respond to the accelerating electrification of shipping in Europe.

Going forward, the two companies will explore technical collaboration to develop a pure hydrogen fuel cell system, which will be equipped with Toshiba ESS’ hydrogen fuel cells, for marine applications suitable for long time continuous operation.

In response to the global trend toward decarbonization, the shipping industry is also stepping up its environmental initiatives. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), overall carbon dioxide emissions from shipping increased nearly 10% from 2012–2018, accounting for 2.9% of global anthropogenic emissions. The IMO has set its own targets for significantly reducing emissions by 2030. The Nordic countries in particular are leading the movement toward the decarbonization of shipping, with each country passing its own legislation regulating environmental measures for ships, and are expediting the development of electric systems using fuel cells and batteries.

Headquartered in Sweden, Echandia is developing energy storage solutions for maritime electrification in Europe and elsewhere. The company is forming partnerships with various other companies and undertaking projects aimed at decarbonization and electrification, including an order for fuel cell systems and heavy-duty batteries for high-speed ferries to operate in Stockholm, Sweden.

Echandia and Toshiba ESS will consider the possibility of incorporating the next-generation hydrogen fuel cell currently under development by Toshiba ESS into the electric propulsion systems for ships being developed by Echandia, with the joint aim of commercializing a longer-life pure hydrogen fuel cell system around 2024. By integrating these next-generation pure hydrogen fuel cells, the systems for ships currently under development are expected to last approximately 200% longer.

In addition, the two companies will explore future collaboration to expand the market for zero-emission vessels in Europe.