If you like a good trip down the canal to explore Britain's waterways, who can blame you? It can be a very serene experience, but have you ever considered going beyond a diesel-powered vessel? I'm not even talking about an electric canal boat (which does exist) either, the whizzes at Bramble Energy have created a Hydrogen-fuel cell-powered ship.
UK-based innovators Bramble have created "the world’s first hydrogen-electric boat powered by a printed circuit board fuel cell". I certainly couldn't name another.
A bit larger than the best EVs, this boat is a whopping 57ft long and following extensive testing in Sheffield is now certified as an emissions-free alternative to traditional diesel engines. It has an impressive range when compared to electric cars too, the longest-lasting Tesla can go for 405 miles, while this boat has a massive 600-mile range, although it is just a touch slower.
It runs on a 14Kg supply of Hydrogen, supported by solar panels mounted on the roof and Bramble reckons it could save up to 12 tonnes of CO2 per boat each year. It's not quite how I pictured the world being saved from climate disaster, but I'm all for it.
Hydrogen-powered cars are slightly more common but still not anywhere near as popular as their electric counterparts. We saw some concepts announced last year that used Hydrogen fuel cells, including one from BMW (pictured above), but they are nowhere near as easy to purchase as electric vehicles, and good luck finding a charging point. It is true though that in the fight against fossil fuels, we need all modes of transport and all possible solutions to be explored.
Let's not forget that unlike roads, which are dominated by humans, we share canals and other waterways with wildlife, and Hydrogen fuel cells represent a much kinder solution than diesel fumes. With the only output of Hydrogen fuel cells being water, you might even be adding to the canal as you go!