A Japanese start-up has teamed up with a Swiss counterpart to develop a passenger vessel powered by the hydrogen fuel cell system.
Almatech, a Swiss ship developer, and e5 Lab, a Japanese firm funded by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Mitsubishi Corporation and others, signed a memorandum at the Swiss Embassy in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Almatech is set to develop a zero-emission electric passenger ship powered by the hydrogen fuel cell system.
The hull will be made of carbon and other lightweight materials. The firm says the vessel will lift up as it accelerates to save energy.
The ship will have a higher cost than standard vessels. e5 Lab will play a role in mediating between Almatech and companies that are interested in using the ship for routes around Japan.
Japan's transport ministry says this will be the first passenger vessel powered solely by hydrogen to be operated in Japan.
e5 Lab President Ichida Tomoaki says energy transformation is needed to realize a carbon-free society for the next generation.
The International Maritime Organization has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships to zero as early as possible in this century.