Ship Energy Observer is setting off on a six year journey around the world in search of cleaner energy solutions for the planet

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Europe, Energy Observer is the first autonomous hydrogen ship that emits no greenhouse gases or fine particles.

This electrically propelled vessel  is powered by a combination of renewable energies and a system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater.

Launched in 2017 in Saint-Malo, France, Energy Observer showcases technologies that aim to support tomorrow’s energy networks to make them efficient and applicable on a large scale.

Energy Observer is embarking on a six-year journey in search of innovative energy solutions for the environment.

The crew, led by offshore sea racer and Merchant Navy Officer Victorien Erussard and explorer and documentary director Jérôme Delafosse, will visit 50 countries and make 11 stopovers to meet those working towards cleaner energy alternatives with minimal impact to our planet.

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After sailing in France in 2017, now in the Mediterranean and then heading to Northern Europe in 2019, Energy Observer aims to reach Tokyo in time for the Olympic Games in 2020.

Victorien Erussard, founder and captain of Energy Observer said: “We are really excited to have Toyota Motor Europe on-board for this mission. We share the vision of hydrogen as the key for accelerating the energy transition, a vision that we wish to carry to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.”

Matt Harrison, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Toyota Motor Europe, commented: “Energy Observer is an exciting initiative and we at Toyota Motor Europe are delighted to be associated with such a passionate and dedicated team. This project once again demonstrates the many practical uses of hydrogen that can be developed as we transition towards a Hydrogen Society.”

Toyota has been pioneering hydrogen technology for the last 20 years, focussing on hydrogen and ensuring it can work as a practical fuel alternative. The company has found that hydrogen allows for “quick refuelling, a significant driving range and a great emission-free driving experience that is helping to power cars, like the Toyota Mirai, as well as buses, trucks and even forklifts.”

During its expedition, as France’s chief ambassador for the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, the Energy Observer team will produce documentary content about concrete and reliable solutions around the world. Their encounters and discoveries will be broadcast through an eight episode series on Planète+ next autumn, and also a web-series that will be shared on social media.