SWITCH Maritime, a zero-emissions ferry company, has raised $10m in a Series A funding round as it seeks to expand its hydrogen and battery-powered fleet in the US.

The round was led by Nexus Development Capital and will allow US-based SWITCH to grow its fleet as it finishes the development of its flagship 75-passenger Sea Change ferry powered by hydrogen fuel cells. 

SWITCH CEO Pace Ralli said: “Everyone is under a lot of pressure to navigate the rapidly evolving technology and regulatory landscape and without simple pre-packaged solutions that can be difficult. 

“At SWITCH, we’re excited to help make that transition easier, achieving important emissions reductions along the way.” 

The company is one of many to be investing in zero-emissions ferries as the maritime industry seeks to deliver on net zero goals through new technologies and the electrification of fleets, alongside developing new vessels. SWITCH will lease the ferries with short and long-term options. 

Following the funding round, SWITCH said it is working on additional expansion designs for a range of passenger ferries, focusing on 150, 300 and 450 passenger vessels. 

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Its existing Sea Change ferry is capable of travelling 300 nautical miles at speeds up to 15 knots, with the only emission being water vapour.

Nexus Development Capital CEO Josh Kaufman said: “SWITCH is filling a huge market gap in decarbonising the maritime industry and we’re excited to work together to bring carbon-free sea transport to the US.”

Outside of the US, other companies have been working on similar technology, including in Europe, where ferry company DFDS announced a commitment to invest in battery-powered electric vessels for use on its English Channel routes between France and England.