The Anonymous Widower

The First North American Commercial Hydrogen Ferry Is In The Works

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

The 84-passenger ferry will be called Sea Change and will operate in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What is interesting about this project are some of the companies and organisations involved, who include BAe Systems, Cummins and the California Air Resources Board, who are chipping in with a $3 million grant.

I’ve said before that Cummins are making investments in hydrogen and modern, reliable and eco-friendly ferries across iconic rivers and estuaries wouldn’t harm the companies involved in their creation.

This page on the Switch Maritime gives more details of the Sea Change.

Ferries Across The Mersey

The current Mersey Ferries in Liverpool entered service in the 1960s.

These pictures shows Snowdrop, when she had been given a razzle-dazzle paint scheme by Sir Peter Blake.


  1. There is more about this colour scheme in the Wikipedia entry for Dazzle Ship (14-18 NOW).
  2. Snowdrop is much larger than the Californian ferry
  3. Mersey Ferries are different and the current pair will need to be replaced soon.

To me, hydrogen is the obvious choice for propulsion for a new ferry.

Freeport East

Freeport East is a new freeport to be built around the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe.

It will also be a hydrogen hub, as this infographic shows.

I would expect that the ferry between the two ports will be upgraded to a hydrogen one.


Ferries will be one of the first application of hydrogen power to ships.


June 5, 2021 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Well when they are due renewal lets hope they make a better choice of supplier than was made for the Woolwich ferry which has been plagued with technical difficulties.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 5, 2021 | Reply

    • I find it interesting that BAe Systems and Cummins are involved. I’ve done consultancy jobs for Cummins and they like modular systems, so that if anybody wants a diesel, they go to the company and they can quickly adapt an engine to fit.

      Are they going to do something similar with hydrogen, so they can be used in a lot of smaller ships, especially in ports, where there seems to be a big move to hydrogen.

      BAe Systems have been rethinking warships, so have they done the same for smaller commercial ships, where they perhaps sell the design to a local shipyard.

      Hydrogen-powered small ships designed by BAe Systems and powered by Cummins would be an easy product to sell!

      Especially, if there was a degree of local manufacture thrown in to keep the price down.

      There’s more to this ferry than meets the eye!

      Comment by AnonW | June 5, 2021 | Reply

  2. […] This content was originally published here. […]

    Pingback by The First North American Commercial Hydrogen Ferry Is In The Works « The Anonymous Widower - Hydrogen Gazette | June 9, 2021 | Reply

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