Hynova, a French startup committed to building the first hydrogen-powered recreational motor boat, has come a very long way in a very short time.
Chloé Zaied, an entrepreneurial, climate-conscious French yacht captain, founded the company in January, 2020. She drove the first demonstrator, the Hynova 40, around the harbor at the Cannes show in September. Now, Hynova is building the first of its production boats, the Hynova 42, in La Ciotat Shipyards near the Riviera in the south of France.
The Hynova 42 will be 41’ 9” long with a 12’ 4” beam and a 16,000-pound displacement. It will be powered by hydrogen, leaving no emissions, or noise, or vibration behind. The boat is driven by an electric hydrogen motor developed by EODev (Energy Observer Development), a spin-off from the Energy Observer yacht now circumnavigating the world under hydrogen power.
The demonstrator 40 had three large hydrogen fuel tanks, a hydrogen fuel cell and a set of batteries. They produced a top speed of 22 knots, and a range of 70 nm at 6 knots running under the hydrogen cell and batteries.
Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity by mixing hydrogen with oxygen. The fuel cell powering the new Hynova 42 is the Toyota T-Module, providing up to 80kW of power. (Toyota, a pioneer in hydrogen propulsion, invested in EODev last year.) The hydrogen cell is backed by three 44kW batteries and two electric motors developing 184kW each.
An owner will be able to refuel the Hynova 42 in just 20 minutes. But the basic problem is that there are few stations supplying hydrogen at this point. Zaied is working on that. Read more: