Toyota has been a partner since 2017 of Energy Observer, the first electric boat running on solar, wind and hydrogen energy (obtained from seawater). In 2020, Toyota’s European Technical Center became its technological partner by supplying it with a fuel cell, developed from components of that of the Mirai.
Today, this partnership is becoming capital intensive: Toyota has acquired a minority stake in Energy Observer Developments (EODev), the subsidiary responsible for deploying the technical solutions validated on board the boat.
“We are delighted that this industrial partnership with Toyota is now becoming capital intensive. It is a real recognition of the work carried out by our respective teams and a strategic acceleration for EODev“, highlighted Jeremiah Lagarrigue, Managing Director, EODev.
The first application of EODev is a 100 kW land-based generator, called GEH2, running on hydrogen. Toyota supplies the fuel cell and EODev manages the power and the association with other possible energy sources. It was approved and went into production this year, with the equipment rental company Loxam among its first customers. A application maritime, still with the Toyota CAP, is also ready for production.
In 2020, EODev entrusted the production, distribution and maintenance of its generator sets to Eneria, a subsidiary of the Monnoyeur group, specializing in energy production solutions (generators, inverters and Caterpillar engines).
EODev had already raised 20 million euros in funds last November from several investors including the Accor group, Thelem Assurances and the Monnoyeur group.
Heading to Tokyo for the Olympics in July
The Energy Observer odyssey continues, in order to deepen experimentation and promote renewable energies all over the world. Departing from St-Malo in 2017, the catamaran was to make an important stopover in Tokyo on the occasion of the 2020 Olympic Games, postponed to 2021, forcing the boat to change its course and to be “confined” for several months in the Caribbean.
Currently in the Galapagos, the crew will be heading for California, to dock in Los Angeles then San Francisco and make a final stopover in Hawaii, next May, before the great crossing of the Pacific Ocean to arrive in Tokyo in the month of July, for the Games.
The return to France for the Saint-Malo crew is scheduled for 2024, this time for the Paris Games. By then, we can assume (and hope) that hydrogen and other renewable energies will have taken a more important place in our society.