Chevron New Energies invests in a zero-emission hydrogen solution for the marine industry

Sea Change, the world’s first commercial vessel powered by 100% hydrogen fuel cells, is set to join the San Francisco Bay Ferry fleet. (Photo credit: All American Marine)

Zero Emission Industries (ZEI), a start-up providing hydrogen fuel cell technology that will power a zero-emission ferry service in the Bay Area, recently received Series A investments from Chevron New Energies and Crowley , a US-based transportation and logistics company.

The funding will help ZEI, formerly known as Golden Gate Maritime Marine, grow the zero-emissions marine hydrogen market in the Bay Area and beyond.

Earlier this year, San Francisco Bay Ferry became the first ferry service in the world to introduce a 75-passenger ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which have the same flexibility as diesel fuel but with zero emissions and less maintenance. The ferry is aptly named “Sea Change”.

Unlike batteries and all-electric options, hydrogen fuel cell technology has the energy density needed to efficiently operate heavy-duty vehicles that transport goods and people across the state and country, such as buses , trains, large trucks and ships.

Hydrogen “is the best path to energy security and decarbonization of the maritime industry,” said ZEI CEO Joseph Pratt.

Pratt said the addition of Chevron and Crowley will strengthen this path by bringing “a wealth of global experience and ability to expand deployment in the maritime market.”

“We are excited to leverage this partnership with our cutting-edge technology to achieve exponential growth in the marine hydrogen market,” he said.

Chevron New Energies was launched last year to focus on building low-carbon businesses in the areas of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), hydrogen, renewable fuels and products, offsets and other emerging areas. Hydrogen Division Vice President Austin Knight said hydrogen is well suited to meet the marine industry’s focus on decarbonization.

“Chevron believes in the value of partnership to develop hydrogen solutions that have the potential to scale and support a low-carbon world, and this is a step in that direction,” Knight said.

The Series A announcement comes two weeks after leaders from California’s energy and transportation industry joined elected officials for Richmond’s Road to Zero Day at the Craneway Pavilion. The event focused on the important role hydrogen will play in the Bay Area’s energy transition.

“Investing in and developing innovative, clean energy solutions such as hydrogen is key to achieving the maritime industry’s decarbonization goals,” said Tom Crowley, Crowley’s Chairman and CEO. “We cannot achieve net zero emissions without collaboration that produces new ideas by partners and stakeholders. Working with Chevron and ZEI is an opportunity to help lead the transportation and logistics industry – and the communities we serve – to achieve a more sustainable future.