Following a decision by the Regional Committee, Veneto Region gave the green light to the public funding of HEPIC – Hydrogen Electric Passenger VenICe Boat – Project. Launched by Hydrogen Park, the project aims to realize zero-emission electric motor passenger boats, which will be powered by a hybrid system of Hydrogen fuel cells and batteries.
The first new sample vessel is going to be developed by "Hydrogen Park Green Water Mobility", a group of companies led by the venetian enterprise Alilaguna and including the Vizianello Shipyard and the innovative start-up EconBoard.
HEPIC Project will benefit from the essential technological contribution of both Enel Distribuzione, providing the infrastructure for electric handling, and Dolomitech, the company from Trento supplying hydrogen buses for the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships hosted in Val di Fiemme.
This time, the main challenge lies in transferring to maritime environment this technology, which has already been delivering exceptional results to road transportation.
With the HEPIC Project Hydrogen Park resumes its mission: years ago, it all started with the launch of “Accadue” ship, which became the first Europe-wide successful project covering hydrogen-fuelled marine pleasure craft. Throughout 2014, in comparison, the European Commission showed open readiness towards this theme and on 28 October 2014 it issued a directive targeting the creation of a non-fossil fuel supply European infrastructure.
“We choose to give a boost to this project” stressed with satisfaction Michela Coletto, President of Hydrogen Park and Enel Institutional Affairs Manager for North-East Italy. “as we do believe that the commercial and industrial development of hydrogen-related technologies is feasible. Our territory, encompassing both Venice and the north-eastern part of Italy, it has already extensive industrial expertise and knowledge in this sector: once established a network between them, and thanks to our project, new interesting outlooks of further developments will unfold. In my opinion Venetian public performances taking place during Expo might guarantee great international exposure to our enterprises’ business, especially since at European-level there is no substantial background in this sector. We also ask the Public Administration to do its part” added Mrs. Coletto. “There is the need for an updated norm on the use of hydrogen in water transport, in order to guarantee some certainties and future developments to such technologies”.
“Months ago we embraced Hydrogen Park’s interesting proposal” explained Fabio Sacco, President of Alilaguna. ”In agreement with our partner Vizianello Shipyard, we committed to this project, as it perfectly aligns to our firm’s investment policy supporting zero-emission vessels. Indeed, hydrogen-fuelled motorboat are backing up electric-powered transports, which we have been progressively adding to our fleet.”
“From the very start we agreed on Hydrogen Park’s Project” noticed Matteo Ametis, Deputy Director of Veneto Innovazione “and since a few years we have been actively cooperating with this consortium. We are indeed sure that HEPIC Project can reach for a Europe-wide scope, as it fosters the synergy between remarkable competencies so far applied to different fields, i.e. road and water transportation. Moreover we hope the HEPIC Project may represent a further springboard to the implementation of a sustainable mobility regional program.”