Hydrogen-powered Energy Observer is the first autonomous hydrogen vessel that emits no greenhouse gases or fine particles


The nautical and scientific journey of Energy Observer is both a human and technological challenge. A six year odyssey to test on-board technology in extreme conditions. An endeavour to navigate the first energy autonomous boat around the globe. In addition, the crew led by Victorien Erussard and Jérôme Delafosse, is also searching for solutions to champion an ecological and energy transition.

This electrically propelled vessel of the future operates by using a mix of renewable energies and a system that produces carbon-free hydrogen from seawater.

The Energy Observer boat

The Energy Observer boat; info & images: energy-observer.org

Launched in 2017 in Saint-Malo (France), Energy Observer is more than just a boat. It is the first hydrogen vessel around the world. The vessel is a vehicle to deliver positive and inspiring information. In addition, it demonstrates and shares solutions for extracting energy harmlessly from nature. Energy Observer showcases technologies that will support tomorrow’s energy networks to make them efficient and applicable on a large
scale. It is this model, based on a mix of renewable energy sources and energy storage that the Energy Observer team will promote on their worldwide tour.

During its expedition, as France’s chief ambassador for the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, the Energy Observer team is producing documentary contents about concrete and reliable solutions, around the world. Their encounters and discoveries will be broadcast through an 8 episode series on Planète+ next autumn, and also a web-series that will be shared on social media.

“There is not one miracle solution that will fight climate change: there are many solutions that we need to learn how to make work together,” said Victorien Erussard , Energy Observer Captain.

The Energy Observer in Paris in July 2017

The Energy Observer in Paris in July 2017 .airliquide.com

Toyota and Hydrogen

Hydrogen is at the very heart of the Energy Observer project and the major reason for Toyota Motor Europe’s participation. On board the boat, it allows the vessel to gain a considerable weight advantage (50% of the displacement of the ship) when compared to an exclusive battery storage solution.

Used as an energy storage means, it is key to overcoming the issue of the intermittent supply of energy both on land and at sea: to exploit surplus energy and thus extend the autonomy of both mobile and stationary installations.

The Energy Observer boat-2018


The Energy Observer boat--


The Energy Observer boat-


Tokyo 2020: a common goal for the two hydrogen promoters

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

“This project once again demonstrates the many practical uses of hydrogen that can be developed as we transition towards a Hydrogen Society,” said Matt Harrison, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Toyota Motor Europe.

The Energy Observer boat-from above