The Italian shipyard aims to have the first application of this technology on the water by 2025 with a "fully functional scale prototype" completed as soon as 2022.
"Hybrid for us is already a reality," said Fabio Ermetto, chief commercial officer, speaking at the Monaco Yacht Show. "But if we don’t start working and building this technology now, in 10 or 20 years we will be behind."
The aim of the BZERO project is to increase the electric cruising range of vessels in zero-emission mode, through hydrogen fuel cell technology on a hybrid or diesel-electric platform. "We are already working to have this application on one of our 52 metre hulls," Ernetto confirmed.
The propulsion system involves the implementation of a hydrogen production module that produces hydrogen from seawater through a system of electrolysers. The electrolysers are primarily powered by energy from other renewable sources of energy, such as photovoltaic panels or batteries, with the aim of producing as much "green" hydrogen as possible.
"If you need fuel, even a little bit, to produce hydrogen then it is not 100% green," said Ernetto. "We believe the growth of green and hybrid technology of propulsion will be very quick in a couple of years so we have to be ready."
Baglietto will develop the technology in collaboration with a team of six Italian companies: Arco FC, Blue Energy Revolution, Enapter, H2BOAT, and Rina e Siemens Energy.
The news follows the introduction of the shipyard's first hybrid offering which was presented during a virtual press conference at the end of 2020.