Echandia, Toshiba team up on fuel-cell tech to accelerate electrification of maritime sector

Swedish developer of energy solutions for maritime electrification Echandia has entered into an agreement with Japanese tech company Toshiba to work on the development of fuel-cell technology combined with batteries to accelerate the electrification of the maritime sector.

The objective of the partnership between Toshiba and Echandia is to develop the market for maritime fuel cell solutions, focused on extreme heavy-duty applications. With this partnership Swedish firm sees the possibility to increase the lifespan of a typical fuel cell by at least 200 per cent.

“Since Toshiba ESS began working on fuel cell systems in the 1960s, we have been advancing the development of hydrogen-related technologies. Striving toward the realization of a hydrogen society, we aim to provide high value-added hydrogen solutions by integrating related technologies such as renewable energy-derived hydrogen energy,” Shigehiro Kawahara, Vice President, Energy Aggregation Div, Toshiba ESS commented.

Kawahara added that ye expanding business through this partnership, the company wants to “make a carbon-neutral society a reality”.

Meanwhile, as demand for electrification of deep-sea and larger vessels builds up, heavy-duty and durable fuel-cell solutions are becoming an increasingly important part of the solution to decarbonize maritime transportation.

Echandia has been working on zero-emission solutions, including the development of lithium titanium oxide (LTO) based battery systems based on the Toshiba rechargeable LTO battery cell SCiB. The battery system received type approval from the classification society Bureau Veritas last year.

Furthermore, its fuel cell technology will power the world’s first fully emission-free, high-speed, carbon fiber catamaran.

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The company has also decided to open a business development hub in Aberdeen to serve the UK market for maritime electrification. The UK hub will be headed by former Caterpillar executive Richard Davidson, a senior maritime and industrial professional.

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